CAAS 103 - First Year Social Science Seminar
Section: 001 Malcolm X, Black Power, and the Practice of History
Term: WN 2007
Subject: Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.
Other Course Info:
(Cross-Area Courses). May not be included in a concentration plan.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course examines the life and legacy of Malcolm X, considering him both as an historical figure whose ideas and actions were part of a specific historical moment, and as an iconic, almost mythical figure whose image continues to stand as a powerful symbol. Our focus will be on understanding Malcolm X’s influence on the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s, when various organizations and individuals claimed to be carrying on his legacy. In addition, we will critically assess the ways in which his legacy continues to be constructed and used to represent that period of Black struggle. Our investigation will be guided by three broad objectives. First, we will study Malcolm X’s life leading up to his emergence as a national and international figure of Black resistance. Secondly, we will examine the contours and depth of his activism and its relationship to the broader African American freedom movement. This will include a close look at the various ways in which his ideas and his example as a political activist impacted the Civil Rights movement and the emergence of the Black Power movement following his assassination in 1965. Finally, we will analyze and interpret contemporary representations of Malcolm X in both scholarly and popular forms, allowing us to better understand his legacy and his place in narratives of African American history. Throughout the academic term, we will take care to highlight the ways that ideas and images are used to construct historical meaning — that is, to make sense of the past and its relationship to the present.

CAAS 103 - First Year Social Science Seminar
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Note: Malcolm X, Black Power, and the Practice of History
002 (SEM)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
Note: Section 002: Meets with Psych 120.001
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