(Offered as SWAG 329 and BLST 377 [US].) History has long valorized passive, obedient, and long-suffering black women alongside aggressive and outspoken black male leaders and activists. This course provides an alternative narrative to this misrepresentation, as we will explore how “bad” is defined by one’s race, gender, class, and sexuality as well as how black women have transgressed the boundaries of what is means to be “good” in US society. We will use an interdisciplinary perspective to examine why black women have used covert and explicit maneuvers to challenge the stereotypical “respectable” or “good” black woman and the various risks and rewards they incur for their “deviance.” In addition to analyzing black women’s literature, we will study black women’s political activism, sex work, and rising incarceration as well as black women’s nonconformity in art, poetry, music, dance, and film. Students should be aware that part of this course is “immersive” and consequently, students will participate in a master class that will explore how dance operates as a way to defy race, class, and gender norms.
Open to first-year students with consent of the instructor. Priority given to students who attend the first day of class. Writing Attentive. Limited to 20 students. Expectations include a master dance class, three writing projects, a group presentation, and various in-class assignments. Fall semester. Professor Henderson.
If Overenrolled: Priority given to students who attend the first day of class.