AFAM 401

Narratives of Race

This course takes as its central object the idea of race. Race is understood as a social construct that designates relations of structural difference and disparity. How race is treated is a crucial issue in this course. It is in this question of 'the how' that the term narrative becomes salient. The term narrative intentionally focuses attention on the material practices through which we have come to define race as a social construct. This terminology, 'narratives of race' spotlights an interest in investigating the historical events and visual and verbal images employed in the linking, patterning, sequencing, and relaying our ways of knowing race and its social relations. Implicated in the construction of race is its production and deployment of the moral and intellectual values that our academic disciplines bear. In considering such values as part of the investigation, this course includes careful comparative analyses of the ways in which the disciplinary systems of ontology, epistemology, aesthetics, and politics are used in the making and remaking of the academic and social grammars of race. Thus the analysis necessarily includes an intertextualization of the several academic disciplines engaging the question of race.