Georgia M. Roberts
Explores in depth specific historical, political, or social aspects of cultural practice, such as digital humanities, the culture and the environment, or arts as cultural studies, and links this analysis to the varied processes of producing these types of cultural work. Offered: AWSpS.
This course will explore theories of power and practice by reading extensively from the work of three cultural theorists; Michel Foucault, Stuart Hall,and bell hooks. Our primary goal will be to comprehend the main arguments put forth by each writer's body of work. Obviously we will not be able to read everything in one quarter, but my hope is that by narrowing our themes (power and practice), we will be able to put these three scholars into productive conversation with one another.
Student learning goals
*Participants will become familiar with key debates in cultural studies
*We will work on theorizing the relationship between culture, power and the construction of knowledge
*We will practice our close-reading, discussion and presentation skills
General method of instruction
The class will be conducted as a discussion-based seminar. There will be some short lectures, films and perhaps one field trip (we will talk about this on the first day of class).
It may be helpful to begin familiarizing yourself with the work of Foucault, Hall and hooks -- but it's not necessary. A better use of preparation time would be to familiarize yourself with key concepts in Marxism and perhaps spend some time researching Antonio Gramsci (especially selections on "The Intellectuals" and "War of Position and War of Manoeuvre"). You may also want to look at the work of Frantz Fanon, especially "Black Skin, White Masks."
Class assignments and grading
Assignments will include a reading journal, leading one class discussion, a paper proposal (abstract with a short annotated bibliography) and a final 8-10 page conference-style paper.