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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Max A. Hunter
CHID 498
Seattle Campus

Special Colloquia

Each colloquium examines a different subject or problem from a comparative framework. A list of topics is available from the CHID office.

Class description

“Reading While Black” will combine theoretical texts, literacy narratives, and in-class dialogue to understand the long-standing ambivalence that African-American men, and others, experience around their literacy practices and performances of manhood. In brief, this course aims to foster dialogue among texts and participants around the evolution of these tensions toward literacy, manhood, the politics of respectability, and social mobility felt regarding this specific sociological group. By reading a selection of autobiographies, memoirs, and narratives from a wide span of history, we will seek to understand the roots of this ambivalence and the way that certain ideologies ensure its continuation, as well as ways it is being challenged.

Student learning goals

Investigate and analyze the ambivalence of black males regarding literacy, from the age of slavery to the present day.

Use theoretical texts as lenses through which to examine literacy narratives.

Consider and propose methods for mitigating literary ambivalence in African-American males, especially those involved in hip-hop and street culture

Initiates students into diverse methods of analysis—hermeneutical and sociological—by examining literacy productions of African-American males to understand the interaction between society, ideology, and identity on both structural and personal levels.

Discusses the function between the exercise political power within institutions and the discourse of the black identity over time. Students will learn how racial identities are co-produced in a manner that reveals both hegemonic domination and resistance to the dominant conceptions of humanity.

Students examine persistence and evolution of particular ideologies in the struggle for black liberation from the antebellum period until our current sociopolitical context. These discussions are grounded in the literacy narratives of black males throughout history.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Max A. Hunter
Date: 03/09/2011