screenshot from film, Compensation

A course on the myriad ways in which Black women write toward a different kind of world.

4 units

Students enrolled in this course will earn credit for the Global Connections Core requirement.

Taught by Prof. Pak

From demanding change to pushing for revolution, Black women have long been at the forefront of protesting for social justice. At the same time, however, their intellectual and political contributions and frameworks have often been ignored or co-opted by others. In this course, we will engage with the myriad ways in which Black women write toward a different kind of world, including creative writing, academic essays and talks, films and performances. Through exploring cultural producers who write from various national/international/translational positions and identities, we will locate African American history and literature within a larger Black diasporic history and literature to understand the global nature of Black women’s writing. Topics will include, but are not limited to, violence against women, access to education and reproductive justice, the linkages between racism and capitalism, self-representation and abolition politics. By taking seriously the contributions of Black women cultural producers, we will also undertake the work of figuring out the definitions behind the words that make up the title of our course: how do our cultural producers define Black? How do they define the identity position of “women”? What is the importance of writing, of text? And finally, how do they conceptualize and define social justice?

At the end of the course, students will participate in a social justice project.


Image: From Compensation (directed by Zeinabu irene Davis, 1999). 

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