Fall 2020

Black Sexualities

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-236  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-235


Khary O. Polk (Section 01)


(Offered as BLST 236 [US] and SWAG 235) From the modern era to the contemporary moment, the intersection of race, gender, and class has been especially salient for people of African descent—for men as well as for women. How might the category of sexuality act as an additional optic through which to view and reframe contemporary and historical debates concerning the construction of black identity? In what ways have traditional understandings of masculinity and femininity contributed to an understanding of African American life and culture as invariably heterosexual? How have black lesbian, gay, and transgendered persons effected political change through their theoretical articulations of identity, difference, and power? In this interdisciplinary course, we will address these questions through an examination of the complex roles gender and sexuality play in the lives of people of African descent. Remaining attentive to the ways black people have claimed social and sexual agency in spite of systemic modes of inequality, we will engage with critical race theory, black feminist thought, queer-of-color critique, literature, art, film, “new media” and erotica, as well as scholarship from anthropology, sociology, and history.

Fall semester. Professor Polk.

If Overenrolled: Students who have taken introductory courses in Black Studies or Women's and Gender Studies will be given priority.

Cost: $$14.50 ?

BLST 236 - L/D

Section 01
Tu 03:50 PM - 05:10 PM ONLI ONLI
Th 03:50 PM - 05:10 PM ONLI ONLI

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.

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Times Square Red, Times Square Blue New York University Press, 1999 Delaney, Samuel Amherst Books TBD
Mama Black Widow Cash Money Content, 2013 Iceberg Slim Amherst Books TBD
Unequal Desires: Race and Erotic Capital in the Stripping Industry State University of New York Press, 2010 Siobhan Brooks Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2022