Focuses on historical, cultural, and social issues in African America and surveys scholarship in African American studies.
ES 250 is not designed to give a history of the African American experience; rather, it is an introduction to the specific field of race studies that has centered on, and been largely developed by, African Americans. As an introduction to the field, the course covers a fair amount of intellectual history, from turn-of-the-twentieth-century debates over the nature and trajectory of black politics to more recent intellectual and political developments, such as the growing critique of the prison industrial complex. As demanded by the interdisciplinary nature of the field of African American Studies, this course relies on a range of historical, literary, ethnographic, visual and aural texts and makes comparisons with other racialized groups in the United States. Topics include slavery, segregation and disfranchisement, migration and urbanization, popular cultural representations, black nationalism and internationalism, civil rights and black power, and African American cultural production. This course will also provide necessary foundations for students wishing to pursue more disciplinarily-focused advanced courses.