Spring 2022

Theorizing the Black Queer Americas

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-226  |  Latinx and Latin Amer Studies, as LLAS-226  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-226


Watufani M. Poe (Section 01)


(Offered as BLST 226[D], LLAS 226 and SWAG 226) This course focuses on Black Queer and Trans life and struggle as well as the cultural and intellectual contributions Black Queer and Trans have made to in numerous fields throughout the Americas (North and South). While for many years narratives of the lives of Black LGBTQ people have been silenced and erased due to stigma and intersectional oppression on the basis of race, gender, and sexuality, scholars and artists in the past four decades have worked to recover the stories of Black Queer and Trans communities throughout the diaspora. The Black Queer/Trans Americas will dive into works that highlight these cultural contributions, while also understanding the compounded systemic violence that Black LGBTQ communities have faced and continue to face. By the end of this course students will have a strong understanding of how systems of power work to restrict the freedoms of Black Queer and Trans communities, and how Black LGBTQ people have lived, organized, and created in spite of and in response to these oppressions. This interdisciplinary undergraduate upper level course will utilize academic texts accompanied by poetry, fiction, film, television, and visual art to understand Black Queer and Trans subjectivities. In addition to course materials, the class will also make use of presentations from local artists, activists, and community members in the local area to add to the course experience. Every week will focus on a different theme or field of study related to Black LGBTQ+ life. 

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Poe.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Students enrolled in the course will be evaluated on the following classroom assignments: Weekly readings and class participation Weekly Journal Essays Development of leading discussion questions Final Presentation and Paper Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.

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
Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology Duke University Press E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson Amherst Books TBD
No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies Duke University Press E. Patrick Johnson Amherst Books TBD
Brother to Brother: New Writing by Black Gay Men RedBone Press Essex Hemphill and Joseph Beam Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022