Black Matter(s): Representing Blackness(es) Across Space, Time and Bodies
Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, Aimé Césaire; Black Docker, Ousmane Sembène; Slave Old Man, Patrick Chamoiseau; The Sellout, Paul Beatty; more details in Course Description.
This course will critically examine various strategies deployed by authors and filmmakers to reassign power, beauty and intellectual autonomy to Black bodies. Films, essays and writings from the Francophone (French, Caribbean and Sub-Saharan African) canon will be put in conversation with American works to tease out global issues of representations and self-representations. Together we will explore the thin boundary between objectification/exoticization and praise, particularly in the case of feminine depiction; we will interrogate various iterations of violence performed unto and by Black bodies and their signification; and we will ask how non-classic forms of representation (for instance, comedies or horror films) contribute to new ways of conceptualizing race for a broad public.
French R1A satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH