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ENGL428O Black Sexuality in Literature and Film

"This multimedia seminar will use novels, poetry, plays, film, internet videos, and visual art to introduce students to the use of sexuality as the primary medium for (1) social and ethical critique and (2) artistic innovation in the Black social imaginary. The course will consider cultural producers from throughout the Black Diaspora.  

Our primary goal throughout the semester will be to determine how artists and social critics understand the relationship between sexual identity and racial identity.  We will also consider carefully what artists gain by relying on sex as a strategy in their works.   A set of keywords or concepts will guide our discussions: reproduction, wo/manhood, respectability, perversion, queerness,   citizenship, and popular erotics.  These keywords will provide a language to talk about dissimilar texts and will help to illuminate sites of contention within artistic culture regarding sexuality. Students will also have the opportunity to develop original research projects and to work collaboratively.

Writer/Artists to be studied include: Audre Lorde, Janet Mock, Jackie Kay, Tarrell McCraney, Marlon Riggs,and Zanele Muholi.

The required research project for the class will be one that recognizes that students have different kinds of strengths and that research projects do not have to look just one way. Students will be asked to produce a final project (an analytical essay or a creative project accompanied by a short contextualizing paper) that is based on archival and/or critical research about a particular artist. To this end, there will be a research session with the Humanities librarian as a part of the class. Regardless of the form or topic of the final project, students will be asked to create a short annotated bibliography as they are finalizing their projects to help develop their research skills and provide a foundation for their projects. Students will have the opportunity to develop their skills at close reading, visual and cultural analysis, and argumentation as they learn some of the protocols of academic writing."

0101 - Gershun Avilez

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