Spring 2017

Performing Race, Racism, and Racialization

Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-230

Moodle site: Course (Guest Accessible)


hari stephen kumar (Section 01)


In Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates says “race is the child of racism, not the father.”  How might this view help reshape our understanding of race and identity? In the United States, how does racism generate the ways that we think of ourselves as white, or of color, or as individuals for whom race somehow does not matter?  Is our racial identification a permanent marker, or is it a process?  And how does this all manifest in our rooted and routed lives, in the ways we perform our social identities with one another and across the worlds between us?  In this course we dive into theories and embodied realities of race, racism, and racializing processes that continually reshape us.  We will trace some of the histories through which race became and continues to be an organizing principle of contemporary society.  We will explore how race intersects with gender, class, sexuality, religious affiliation, and other similar identifiers.  We will read both established and emerging scholarship to understand key terms such as decoloniality, intersectionality, ideology, hegemony, power, and discourse.  Coates also reminds us that “racism is a visceral experience [and that] the sociology, the history, the economics, the graphs, the charts, the regressions all land, with great violence, upon the body.”  We will therefore strive to weave multiple disciplines to learn new understandings, through working with performances and multimedia texts, but always grounded in lived and embodied knowledges.  This course provides a pathway toward advanced courses in American Studies but is open to all.

Limited to 18 students.  Spring semester. Visiting Instructor Kumar.

If Overenrolled: Priority to AMST majors and sophomore non-majors interested in future AMST courses, then juniors, and seniors.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing


2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017