Mammy. Jezebel. Matriarch. Welfare Queen. This first-year seminar introduces students to the experience of African American women through the study of representation in the past and present. Beginning with the imagery of jezebel and mammy constructed during the slavery era, we will trace the changing yet interrelated representations of Black women in American society. Throughout the course, we will study processes by which stereotypes about race and gender intersect to define African American women in particular, limiting, and recurring ways. We will consider the ideologies from which these images have stemmed as well as the social and political uses to which these images have been put. We will also examine the myriad ways that African American women have challenged and transformed these images. Our materials for this course will include works of history, cultural criticism, fiction, autobiography, and film.