Black Lives Represented: Writing, Art, Politics and Society
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 06 October 2022
Friday 16 December 2022
18 March 2022
Requisites for this module
BA Q210 English and Comparative Literature,
BA Q211 English and Comparative Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA Q212 English and Comparative Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA Q218 English and Comparative Literature (Including Foundation Year)
The representation of black lives in writing, art, politics and society bears a legacy of erasure, suppression and denial, a practice sometimes referred to by critics as "whitewashing". This legacy, undoubtedly linked to the growth of modern European imperialism in the wake of Columbus's American encounters, can often obscure the history of black people and their cultural output in different periods.
From the "whitening" of Ancient Egypt--whereby it was situated within a European Mediterranean world, as opposed to an African one--to quiescence about the presence of black people in Britain prior to the Second World War, black representation in world history often featured as a kind of absence prior to the 1960s.
This module aims to examine representations of black lives and cultural output over a broad range of fields, including the visual arts, literature, history and politics, and in different historical periods. It investigates what it means to be black--generally understood as a social category or construct relating to Africans and their descendants, whether Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latin, African American or Black British--in relation to critical discourses of ethnicity, race and postcolonialism. It will also be informed by seminal theories of race by black academics and theorists, including W. E. B. Du Bois, C. L. R. James, Henry Louis Gates, Sylvia Wynter, Joyce A. Joyce, Barbara Smith, Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy.
1. To provide students with a critical overview of writing, art and history by or about black (African and African descended) people through different historical periods.
2. To introduce students to a range of inter-disciplinary methodologies, frameworks and topics.
3. To enhance analytical skills and self-expression, through research and writing.
By the end of the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of a wide variety of cultural works across several important genres and forms, including the visual arts, literature and politics.
2. Critically evaluate and analyse artistic and cultural works on the module with an informed understanding of the historical period and context which produced them.
3. Demonstrate critical awareness of and the ability to research themes and methodological approaches pertinent to the study of black literature, history, politics or art.
No additional information available.
Anticipated teaching delivery: Weekly 1-hour lecture and 1-hour seminar
This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Essay (2,500 words)
Exam format definitions
- Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
- In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary,
for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.
Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Jak Peake, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
LiFTS General Office, email: email@example.com
Telephone: 01206 872626
Dr Doug Haynes
University of Sussex
Reader in American Literature and Visual Culture
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 19 (95%) hours available to students:
1 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.
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