Fall 2023

Introduction to Black Studies

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-111


Jared Loggins (Section 01)


[R] This interdisciplinary introduction to Black Studies combines the teaching of foundational texts in the field with instruction in reading and writing. The first half of the course employs How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren as a guide to the careful reading of books focusing on the slave trade and its effects in Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. Important readings in this part of the course include Black Odyssey by Nathan Huggins, Racism: A Short History by George Frederickson, and The Black Jacobins by C. L. R. James. The second half of the course addresses important themes from the turn of the twentieth century to the present. Beginning with The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois, it proceeds through a range of seminal texts, including The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon and The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. This part of the course utilizes Revising Prose by Richard Lanham to extend the lesson in reading from the first half of the semester into an exploration of precision and style in writing. Computer exercises based on Revising Prose and three short essays—one on a single book, another comparing two books, and the last on a major theme in the course—provide the main opportunity to apply and reinforce skills in reading and writing learned throughout the semester. After taking this course, students at all levels of preparation should emerge not only with a good foundation for advancement in Black Studies but also with a useful set of guidelines for further achievement in the humanities and the social sciences.

Limited to 18 students per section. Fall semester: Professor Loggins. Spring semester: Professor Vaughan.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference given to Black Studies majors and first year students.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: written work, independent research and oral presentations.

BLST 111 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM SCCE E210
Th 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM SCCE E210

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
How to Read a Book Simon and Schuster, 1972 Adler, Mortimer and Charles van Doren Amherst Books TBD
The Souls of Black folk Dover Publications, 1994 Du Bois, W.E.B. Amherst Books TBD
The Wretched of the Earth Grove Press, 2004 Fanon, Frantz Amherst Books TBD
Racism: A Short History Princeton University Press, 2002 Frederickson, George Amherst Books TBD
Revising Prose Pearson Longman, 2007 Lanham, Richard Amherst Books TBD
The Fire Next Time Vintage Books, 1962 Baldwin, James Amherst Books TBD
The New Jim Crow:Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness New Press, 2012 Alexander, Michelle Amherst Books TBD
Reyita: The Life of a Black Cuban Woman in the Twentieth Century Duke University Press, 2000 Castillo Bueno, Maria de los Reyes & Daisy Rubiera Castillo Amherst Books TBD
Avengers of the New World First Harvard University Press, 2004 Dubois, Laurent Amherst Books TBD
Africans into Creoles: Slavery, Ethnicity, and Identity in Colonial Costa Rica University of New Mexico Press, 2014 Lohse, Russell Amherst Books TBD
Beloved Vintage International, 2004 Morrison, Toni Amherst Books TBD
Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 Cambridge University Press, 1998 Thornton, John Amherst Books TBD
Black Identities Russell Sage Foundation, 2001 Waters, Mary Amherst Books TBD
African Diaspora: A History Through Culture Columbia University Press, 2009 Manning, Patrick Amherst Books TBD
The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution Vintage Books, 1989 James, C.L.R. Amherst Books TBD
Stamped from the Beginning 2016 Kendi, Ibram Amherst Books TBD
Homegoing 2016 Gyasi, Yaa Amherst Books TBD
Laboring Women: Reproduction and gender in New World Slavery 2004 Morgan, Jennifer Amherst Books TBD
Color Me English: Migration and Belonging 2011 Phillips, Caryl Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024