AMCULT 405 - Topics in American Culture
Fall 2023, Section 004 - What's Love (Sex+Race) Got To Do with It: Reading James Baldwin in the 21st Century
Instruction Mode: Section 004 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected four times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


CHECK IT OUT - Video Description!

AAS 498:
"What's Love (Sex+Race) Got To Do with It: Reading James Baldwin in the 21st Century."

Tina Turner's famous 1984 song seems to have little to do with James Baldwin's last, still underappreciated novel, Just above My Head (1979). And yet, the question called out in Turner's song, which was released a few years after Baldwin's book had come out, helps us understand not only the complex, experimental, and daring masterpiece of fiction that is Baldwin's last novel, but also the development of his revolutionary, intersectional philosophy of love throughout his fiction.

In this seminar, we will examine Baldwin's novels written between 1953 and 1979, his selected short stories ("Sonny's Blues," "Going to Meet the Man") and essays. Our focus will be on the ways in which it is Baldwin's fiction, which has been often misunderstood and dismissed by critics, that examines and anticipates most directly the complex ways in which we approach racialized gender, sexuality, and erotic attraction in our own historical moment. We will explore his daring inclusion of plots involving interracial couples, queer and other non-normative sexual attachments, and his attention to issues like class, religiosity, colorism, and family violence that politics of respectability often keeps hidden and unspoken within African American communities.

The course is open to graduate students at all levels, with the understanding that their midterm and final requirements will be adjusted to fulfill graduate credit.


AMCULT 405 - Topics in American Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
Note: 001: American Indian Law in Popular Culture
002 (SEM)
 In Person
F 9:00AM - 12:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
Note: 002: "Immigrant Justice Lab". Interested students must email the instructor for permission to enroll.
003 (SEM)
 In Person
M 10:00AM - 1:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
Note: 003: Meets-with FTVM 455 "Film Noir"
004 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
Note: 004: Meets-with AAS 498 "What's Love (Sex+Race) Got To Do with It: Reading James Baldwin in the 21st Century"
005 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
Note: 005: Meets-with HISTART 497 "Art and Resistance in Detroit, 1900-Present"

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for AMCULT 405.004

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for AMCULT 405 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)