Fall 2010

Critical Debates in Black Studies

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-12


J. Celso Castro Alves (Section 01)
John E. Drabinski (Section 02)


[R] In this course students will focus closely on major debates that have animated the field of Black Studies, addressing a wide range of issues from the slave trade to the present. Each week will focus on specific questions such as: What came first, racism or slavery? Is African art primitive? Did Europe underdevelop Africa? Is there Caribbean History or just history in the Caribbean? Should Black Studies exist? Is there a black American culture? Is Affirmative Action necessary? Was the Civil Rights Movement a product of government action or grass-roots pressure? Is the underclass problem a matter of structure or agency? The opposing viewpoints around such questions will provide the main focus of the reading assignments, which will average two or three articles per week. In the first four weeks, students will learn a methodology for analyzing, contextualizing, and making arguments that they will apply in developing their own positions in the specific controversies that will make up the rest of the course.

Each section limited to 20 students.  Fall semester: Professor Castro Alves and Visiting Professor Drabinski.

BLST 12 - L/D

Section 01
Tu 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM COOP 101
Th 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM COOP 101

Section 02
M 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM CONV 302
W 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM CONV 302

This is preliminary information about books for this course. Please contact your instructor or the Academic Coordinator for the department, before attempting to purchase these books.

Section(s) ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
All Affirmative Action and Racial Preference: A Debate Oxford University Press, 2003 Carl Cohen and James P. Sterba Amherst Books TBD
All An Introduction to Reasoning Prentice Hall, 1984 Stephen Toulmin, Richard Rieke, and Allan Janik Amherst Books TBD
All Should America Pay? Slavery and the Raging Debate on Reparations Harper Paperbacks, 2003 Raymond A. Winbush (editor) Amherst Books TBD
All A Rulebook for Arguments Hackett Publishing Co., 2008 Anthony Weston Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2022