Spring 2025

Black Women and Reproductive Justice in the African Diaspora

Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-296  |  Black Studies, as BLST-296  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-296


Jallicia A. Jolly (Section 01)


(Offered as AMST 296, BLST 296 [D] and SWAG 296). This course explores the transnational politics of race, gender, sexuality, and health from interdisciplinary perspectives. It engages a range of texts and methodologies that locate the historical and contemporary experiences of Afro-diasporic women and girls in the struggle for embodied freedom, autonomy, and reproductive justice. We will draw on examples from Africa and the African diaspora (U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America) as we engage the main debates in reproductive justice around key issues: sexual and reproductive health and rights; HIV/AIDS; sexual autonomy and choice; sterilization; police brutality; the right to bear children; abortion. The course will also introduce students to theories about health and illness, embodiment and subjectivity, critical race theory, ethnography, black feminist theory, and postcolonial health science studies. Class field trips to reproductive justice organizations will also provide an experiential component that grounds our inquiries.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Assistant Professor Jolly.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference will be given to American Studies, Black Studies, and Sexuality, Women's & Gender Studies majors, as well as students completing the Five College Certificate in Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice and Culture, Health, & Science.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: emphasis on written work, critical reflections, qualitative work, group-based discussions, community-engaged learning through field work or trips, cultural analysis, ethnographic analysis, a study of reproductive justice and interconnections among social movements; open engagements with the body, difference, and nuanced interrogations of the inner-workings of power; and unsettling racism, sexism, and colonialism in a global context.

Course Materials


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Spring 2022, Spring 2025