This course explores contemporary Black thought through a set of literary, visual, and theoretical texts. One of the signal shifts in contemporary Black arts and letters, and Black studies, is a turn towards interiority. This shift has enabled a capacious accounting of Black being, foregrounding everyday interior and intramural experiences that cannot be summed by ideological critiques of white power nor by nationalist discourses of Black resistance. Our theoretical repertoire will include concepts like love, quiet, fabulation, and gaze to explore Black interiority in relation to political movements, aesthetic experimentation, gender and sexual identity, and African continental and diasporic practices. The course will draw on a range of genres (including films, photo portraits, personal essays, and criticism) and also take a comparative approach (including works from Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States).
Submatriculated M.A. students interested in this course should request permission from the instructor and should also submit a permit request via Path@Penn.