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ENGL130 - Race and the Cultural Politics of Blood: A Historical Perspective

We live in a moment when we are reckoning with a racist past in both America and Britain. We are trying to redefine what our future will look like, so it’s important to consider how we got here.

This course explores “race”—as a term and a concept—at three different historical moments, using three highly influential works of literature to structure the conversation: William Shakespeare’s play Othello (1603), Aphra Behn’s novella Oroonoko (1688), and Herman Melville’s novella Benito Cereno (1855). Once we examine how fictions of “race” have been written, we will consider how these fictions are repurposed for politics, past and present. Alongside literature, we will examine the rhetoric of politicians, protestors, and pundits. Writers such as Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Du Bois will be the counterposing voices to that of Melville; the rhetoric of George Wallace and Barry Goldwater will be juxtaposed against BLM, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Nikole Hannah-Jones. The course concludes with “The Case for Reparations.” This course satisfies the Distributive Studies Humanities (DSHU) and I-series (SCIS) requirements for General Education. 

0101 - Kimberly Coles
0102 - Kimberly Coles
0103 - Kimberly Coles
0104 - Kimberly Coles

Schedule of Classes
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