Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-335
John Erwin Drabinski (Section 01)
[US] This course offers a systematic study of the work of W.E.B. Du Bois, drawing on the whole range of his life and writing in order to assess his importance for theorizing race, racism, and the human condition. What do we mean by "race"? How is our understanding of history, consciousness, and hope transformed by the experience of anti-black racism? What is the role of gender, class, and nation in theorizing race and racism? In Du Bois' early work on these questions, especially his masterpiece Souls of Black Folk, we encounter some of the most significant foundational work in the black intellectual tradition. Themes of double-consciousness, the color line, and the veil set many of the terms of discussion for the twentieth century and after. In this course, we will read this early work closely, but also consider the development of his later thought in historical and intellectual context, putting Du Bois in dialogue with his contemporaries William James, Booker T. Washington, Josiah Royce, and others, as well as considering contemporary appropriations of his work. Lastly, we will read Du Bois critically by considering recent scholarship on his often fraught relationship to questions of gender, class, and transnational identity. Across these readings, we will develop a deep, engaged appreciation of the scope and power of Du Bois' thinking and the fecundity of his intellectual legacy.
Fall semester. Visiting Professor Drabinski.