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Radical Black Feminisms: Writing the Carceral State

ENGL 200.302
instructor(s):
MW 2-3:30
fulfills requirements:
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Junior Research Seminar Requirement of the Standard Major
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major
Cultural Diversity in the US of the College's General Education Curriculum

 

In this course we will engage with the writings and experiences of members of our society who are, in many ways, writing for their lives— writing against death. With growing calls for the abolition of prisons and all systems of racial-sexual domination, this course will examine a long history of works by and about black women political prisoners since the Black Power Era. We will read the works of writers and theorists including Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, Erica Huggins, and Audre Lorde, as they illuminate violent injustices in prisons and in U.S. society. Engaging several genres and forms of black cultural production including autobiography, poetry, and manifesto, we'll explore fundamental questions such as: What constitutes the literary? Or even the political? And what do black women's writings illuminate about issues of state violence, domesticity, community, censorship, or forms of resistance?

For this version of English 200, students' work will range from print culture analysis, short writing assignments, a small community project and a creative/critical final research project.