ANT 310L • Text/Context in Black Popular Culture/Cultural Studies
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
This course is a critical survey of cultural expressions-- visual art, music, television, film; (fashion) style, poetry and fiction writing, e.g.-- and theorization of African descended people (primarily in the US and the Caribbean), since the social, cultural, and political upheavals of the 1960s. We will confront a wide range of transnational and diasporic issues explicitly dealt with, or implicit in these expressions and the conditions of their production. Students will be encouraged to trace the contours of black diaspora politics and erotics. That is, they will become familiar with a range of key movements, discourses, practices and theorizations of black popular culture.
Discussions will challenge students to confront issues of, for example, performance and style, pleasure/joy; radical poetics; gender and sexuality; beauty; art; culture theft and borrowing; representation and respectability; race; and class; through interdisciplinary reading assignments that draw from visual art, music, television, film; (fashion) style, poetry and fiction writing, ethnography, history, cultural criticism, everyday life and current events. Multimedia presentations/lectures will also cull critical theory from the Frankfurt School, French Social Theory, Subaltern Studies and other Postcolonial Theory, Black British Cultural Studies and Black and Third World Feminisms; and social and cultural anthropology. These will help students to think through the images, discourses and practices of black popular culturedeveloping keener critical/analytical and habits and skills.
-- A reading journal of brief summaries, impressions and reactions from the readings, lectures and class discussion; and attendance at three public lectures or performances sponsored by the Center for African and African American Studies. [1/3 of grade] -- two take-home exams [1/3 of grade] -- two reviews (one book, and one film, television or current event) [1/3 of grade] .