HISTORY 388 - Black Feminist Thought and Practice
Section: 001
Term: WN 2015
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course explores the production and practice of black feminist theory in 20th century America. We will examine the written work and the activism of African American women and will look at the ways in which their theory and practice historically intersect around questions of race, class, sexuality, nationality and gender. Because this course interrogates feminist theoretical frameworks, we will also consider how systems of oppression both create and obstruct a Black feminist politics. Using both primary and secondary sources, we will continually concern ourselves with the various articulations of Black feminism (e.g., womanism, critical race feminism, transnational Black feminism, hip hop feminism). Possible texts include, Beverly Guy Sheftall’s ed., Words of Fire: An Anthology of Black Feminist Thought, Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is not Enuf; Jennifer Nelson, Women of Color and the Reproductive Rights Movement; Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Pimps Up, Hoes Down: Hip Hop’s Hold on Young Black Women; along with video and audiotapes.

Course Requirements:

Regular attendance and active participation in class discussion. Discussion questions are due in advance of class meeting (40% of the final grade). Midterm Exam (5-7 page take-home) and Final Exam (5-7 page essay take-home). A “Feminist Manifesto” (co-written by 2-3 students) that clearly and powerfully elaborates a black feminist position as defined by the group. The two exams constitute 40% of the final grade, while the manifesto and an in-class presentation account for the final 20%.

Intended Audience:

Especially sophomores and juniors seeking a grounding in Black feminist thought and political practice, particularly concentrators in fields such as AAS, Women’s Studies, History, and American Culture

Class Format:

Seminar-style with discussion-based format and student presentations

HISTORY 388 - Black Feminist Thought and Practice
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
M 4:00PM - 7:00PM
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