ABOUT THE CLASS

This seminar, taught in Spring 2020, examined the relational, comparative and intersectional scholarship on racial identity, racial formation, and race-based social movements through the relationship of Afro-Asian diasporas across place and time. By studying race relationally and intersectionally, and through a shared field of meaning and power, the seminar made visible the connections among such subordinated groups and the logic that underpins the forms of inclusion and dispossession they face. Relational frameworks of race require both an attention to specificity—the distinct social locations, histories and contexts inhabited by differentially racialized groups—as well as the articulations and dependencies that mutually constitute and produce such formations. 

The course paid particular attention to sites of cultural production, literary, visual and musical cultures. Several of the texts and course themes also focused regionally on the Caribbean, and its particular histories of Afro-Asian encounters. A final theme of the course concerned contemporary politics and public policy, examining issues including affirmative action and housing segregation. The course culminated in public-facing projects that aim to bring course insights and interventions to a broader audience. The last five weeks of the class were held remotely because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Students' public-facing capstone projects are displayed on the final projects page; select guest speaker sessions are featured on the speakers page; collaboratively generated reading summaries, discussion questions, and primary sources are collected on the wikis page.

SPRING 2020 SYLLABUS