Black Lives Represented: Writing, Art, Politics and Society
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
20 August 2019
Requisites for this module
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.
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.
To introduce students to a range of inter-disciplinary methodologies, frameworks and topics.
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.
Ten two-hour seminars / or 1-hour lecture and 1-hour seminar if large student cohort.
All module information will be available on Moodle.
- McQueen, Steve; Ridley, John; Ejiofor, Chiwetel. (2013) 12 years a slave, [U.K.]: Entertainment One.
- Campos-Pons, María Magdalena; Luis, William. (2011) 'Art and Diaspora: A Conversation with María Magdalena Campos-Pons', in Afro-Hispanic Review: William Luis. vol. 30, pp.155-166
- Locke, Alain. (2018) 'Enter the New Negro', in The new Negro: the life of Alain Locke, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- Peck, Raoul; Jackson, Samuel L.; Belafonte, Harry; Brando, Marlon; Cavett, Dick; Bush, George W.; Baldwin, James. (2017) I am not your Negro, [United States]: Velvet Film, Inc.
- Du Bois, W. E. B.; Edwards, Brent Hayes. (2007) The souls of Black folk, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- McDougald, Elise Johnson. (c2001) 'The Task of Negro Womanhood', in Double-take: a revisionist Harlem Renaissance anthology, New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.
- Domingo, W.A. (1980) 'The tropics of New York', in Harlem, mecca of the new Negro, Balto. [i.e. Baltimore], MD: Black Classic Press. vol. v. 6, no. 6, pp.648-650
- Hall, Stuart. (2016) Lecture 7: Domination and Hegemony in Cultural studies 1983: a theoretical history, Durham: Duke University Press.
- Peck, Raoul. (no date) I Am Not Your Negro [DVD].
- Bonner, Marita O. (c2001) 'On being young : a women and colored', in Double-take: a revisionist Harlem Renaissance anthology, New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.
- Cleaver, Eldridge. (1969) 'The white race and its heroes', in Soul on ice, London: Cape., pp.69-84
- Cleaver, Eldridge. (1969) Soul on ice, London: Cape.
- Rankine, Claudia. (2015) Citizen: an American lyric, [London]: Penguin Books.
- Hall, Stuart. (2017) 'Racism and Reaction', in Selected political writings: the great moving right show and other essays, Durham: Duke University Press.
- Garvey, Amy Jacques. (c2001) 'On Langston Hughes: I am a Negro—and Beautiful', in Double-take: a revisionist Harlem Renaissance anthology, New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.
- Selvon, Samuel. (2006) The lonely Londoners, London: Penguin.
- Seacole, Mary. (1988) Wonderful adventures of Mrs. Seacole in many lands, New York: Oxford University Press.
- Locke, Alain. (1980) 'Enter the new negro', in Harlem, mecca of the new Negro, Balto. [i.e. Baltimore], MD: Black Classic Press. vol. v. 6, no. 6, pp.631-635
- Carmichael, Stokely. (2014) 'What we Want', in African American voices: a documentary reader from emancipation to the present, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell., pp.227-233
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Scrapbook / Anthology
||Essay (2,500 words)
Module supervisor and teaching staff
LiFTS General Office, Tel. (01206) 872626, email: email@example.com
Prof Duncan James Salkeld
Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature
Available via Moodle
Of 24 hours, 18 (75%) hours available to students:
6 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
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