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ENG 393

Literature and Culture: Advanced Topics

A study of the relations between literature and culture, with a specific thematic focus. Examples include Literature and Law, American Gothic, and Drugs, Literature and Culturet.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Fall Semester information

Karin Wimbley

393A: LitCulture&Hist:AdvTps:(re)Imagining Black Masculinities

What is masculinity? How does this definition change when intersected by race, sexuality, and/or class? What does the term "black masculinity" mean and how is it imagined in American culture? First, working from the presupposition that there are multiple ways of inhabiting black masculinities, this 300-level course examines literary, cinematic, and visual representations of black maleness by critically reading how categories of difference and identity have been inscribed onto the black male body. Specifically, we will consider how these representations respond to and interact with mainstream America's understanding of race and gender. Second, we will investigate how African American writers, dramatists, filmmakers, and visual artists employ aesthetics as a form of radical black politics. Thirdly, we will explore how black masculinity plays out in black cultural production, state-sanctioned violence, and movements such as #BlackLivesMatter and #TakeAKnee.

Students will learn how to close read film, literature, and visual culture by using the appropriate critical vocabulary and effectively communicate observations, syntheses, and analyses in the form of critical response papers, argumentative essays, presentations, a final paper project, and class discussions. Course texts include works by W. E. B. DuBois, Stuart Hall, Kendrick Lamar, Amiri Baraka, Mychal Denzel Smith, Dave Chappelle, and Kehinde Wiley. Film and television include Berry Jenkins' Moonlight, Donald Glover's Atlanta, Ava DuVernay's 13th, and Melvin Van Peebles' Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, to name a few.

PLEASE NOTE: This course is cross-listed with English, Africana Studies, Film Studies, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.