Race and Identity in American Literature [course catalog title]
Same subject as 21L.504[J]
Prereq: Permission of instructor
3-0-9 units. HASS-H
Can be repeated for credit.
What role do writers play in a social movement? How does literature today respond to systemic racism and rampant xenophobia; travel bans and deportation sweeps; police brutality and mass incarceration? Can a poem, a novel, or an essay make a difference? This course will tackle these questions by pairing contemporary literature, music, film, and television with works by earlier writers who used literature to speak out, fight back, and bear witness.
The pairings we will analyze and discuss include: James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates; Audre Lorde and Toni Morrison; Frederick Douglass and Colson Whitehead; Gloria Anzaldúa and Valeria Luiselli; José Martí and Lin Manuel-Miranda; Nina Simone and Solange Knowles; Marvin Gaye and D’Angelo; W.E.B. DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folk and Jordan Peele’s Get Out ; Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and Sam Esmail’s Mr. Robot