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Courses / Modules / HUMA3018 Representing Race: Politics and Identity in American Culture

Representing Race: Politics and Identity in American Culture

When you'll study it
Semester 2
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 6
Module lead
Shelley Cobb
Academic year

Module overview

In 1900 the African-American write W.E.B Du Bois suggested that ‘the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.’ Although much has changed in the last century race is still a ‘problem’ in America. The module explores this complex history through a wide range of forms, including literature, film, art, music videos, television, and celebrity culture. It foregrounds the ways in which cultural texts have mediated, and remediated, race by focusing closely on the critical conversations that occur between texts as artists, writers and film makers have adapted and reimagined this political and cultural history. The module will also take us to the contemporary moment, exploring the cultural representations of race that have been associated with the White House itself, especially as it transitioned from the Obama to the Trump administrations. The module draws on an intellectual tradition that includes W.E.B Du Bois, Henry Louis Gates Jr, bell hooks, Patricia Hill Collins, Stefano Harney and Fred Moten. It explores how everyday practices - looking, working, desiring, playing, writing, voting, speaking, inheriting, educating, singing, dancing, shopping – are given meaning by race in America.

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