HIS 350L • Race and Beauty in Amer Cul-W
This class will use the lens of beauty culture to examine ideas about race and gender in American culture from colonial times to the present. In our intellectual exploration we will openly acknowledge the contradictions and paradoxes of beauty culture with regard to race and gender. On the one hand, critics of beauty culture argue that the industry subordinates women even more than legal and economic subjugation. Others argue that the very practice of making oneself beautiful in a world that considered one ugly and worthless, could be a source of personal empowerment. In other words, beauty culture becomes a fruitful site upon which to examine racial and gender contestations of power.
Response Papers: 30% Three 2-4 page response papers on the readings. One of these response papers will be completed in class. Each paper is worth 10%. Research Paper (10-15 pages): 50% Topics must be approved by the instructor and the paper will be developed and evaluated in stages throughout the semester. Topic Outline and Annotated Bibliography: 10% First Draft: 15% Final Draft: 25% Class Engagement: 20%
Tentative Reading List: Maxine Leeds Craig, AIN'T I A BEAUTY QUEEN? BLACK WOMEN, BEAUTY AND THE POLITICS OF RACE Juliette Harris, ed. TENDERHEADED: A COMB-BENDING COLLECTION OF HAIR STORIES A'Lelia Bundles, ON HER OWN GROUND: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MADAME CJ WALKER Ingrid Banks, HAIR MATTERS: BEAUTY, POWER AND BLACK WOMEN'S CONSCIOUSNESS Julia Kirk Blackwelder, STYLIN JIM CROW Course Packet of Articles and Advertisements