Black Feminist and Womanist Literature and Thought
9 units (3-0-6)
For centuries, Black feminists, especially queer and trans women, and non-binary and queer folx, writing in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, the United States, and more, have used literature to reimagine feminisms. In the decades following the second-wave feminist movement, a body of writing coalesced around the terms "Black feminist" and "womanist." These years are remembered for decolonization and postcolonialism; Anita Hill's testimony; the passing of Title IX; the first Take Back the Night marches; the introduction of terms "intersectionality" by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw and "third-wave feminism" by Rebecca Walker; the widespread publishing of works by feminists; the creation of Ethnic Studies and Women's and Gender Studies departments across institutions of higher education; and more. It was a moment in which Black people across identities and national origins wrote a number of works that radically retheorized family, home, gender, love, race, sexuality, work, and more, in ways that challenged cultures of violence in favor of imagining beloved communities. In this course, students will read, discuss, and better understand multiple literary and critical works participating in Black feminisms in order to then theorize new possibilities for Black feminist futures.
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