Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Michelle Habell-Pallan
WOMEN 351
Seattle Campus

Women of Color as Cross-Cultural Artists

Provides a historical context for artistic forms produced by racialized women. Examines the cultural production of Chicanas and Latinas in relation to that Native American, African American, East and South Asian American , and Arab American women as well as those women of mixed heritage in the U.S.

Class description

What does a thinking subject, an intellectual, mean for women-of-color from working-class origins? It means not fulfilling our parents' expectations, it means often going against their expectations by exceeding them. It means being in alien territory and suspicious of the laws and walls. It means being concerned about the ways knowledges are invented. It means continually challenging institutionalized discourses. It means being suspicious of the dominant culture's interpretation of 'our' experience, of the way they 'read' us. It means being what Judy Baca terms 'internal exiles.' Gloria Anzaldua, "Haciendo Teorias" (1990)

This course provides a social and historical context for the concept Women of Color so as to better understand written and visual forms produced by, for and, about racialized women. The course examines how the category "Women of Color" describes a theory and methodology rather than a fixed demographic population. By examining the cultural production of Chicanas and Latinas in relation to those of Native American, African American, East and South Asian American, Arab American as well as those women of mixed heritage in the U.S., this survey course explores the multiple meanings of the category "Women of Color" and the literary/artistic forms generated around it. Guiding questions include: What are the political and artistic uses of the term? How do the categories of race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality inflect upon it? What hopes for the future are embodied in it? Does the category "Women of Color" still resonate with young women in the Post-911 digital age of increased national security and globalization in the Post-Racial and Post-Feminist era? How are these questions addressed in their chosen expressive form? The forms which the texts take are essays, poems, short stories, novels, performance, digital art, music and film.

Student learning goals

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 Michelle Habell-Pallan
Date: 11/14/2008