Teaching Race & History: Institute Courses

Navigating the Pacific: 20th-Century Afro-Asian Relations (Spring 2019)

AAS 385/HIST 396/EAS 385

W 2:30–5:00 p.m.

This course examines the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) interactions with peoples designated as “other.” Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, the CCP has propagated the diversity of China through its ethnic nationalities. This course will interrogate the formation of these ethnic nationalities and the propagation of China as a multi-ethnic nation to examine how the CCP uses exchanges and encounters with the “other” to further CCP cultural and political agendas. This course treats race and ethnicity as social constructs to address how these identities change over time and are shaped by society and politics. The first part of the course will introduce students to race and ethnic theories in general and China in particular. The readings for this section lay the analytical foundation and historical framework for the course. The second part of the course will continue this discussion through an analysis of relations between the Han and other ethnic nationalities as well as relations between the CCP and ethnic nationalities and the historical roots of contemporary sociocultural and political issues. The third and final part of the course focuses on encounters and exchanges between the CCP and foreign others, with an emphasis on the black other. This last segment will begin with readings on Bandung to provide context on and briefly explore the historical and political motivations for the CCP forming relations with Afro-Asian peoples and nations.

This course is cross-listed with African American studies, history, and East Asian studies.

Race & Military Inclusion: Rights, Violence and the State (Spring 2019)

AAS 385/AMST 385/WGSS 385

MW 4:00–5:15 p.m.

For many Americans, war is encountered as a media spectacle. From first-person shooter games to journalistic coverage of embedded reporters, experiences of war and militarization are often mediated. Considering relationships between media industries and military institutions (the military-entertainment complex), this course explores how representations and experiences of war and militarization contribute to an imagined idea of the nation. Representations of militarization from the local to the global are articulated in a diverse array of media, from Hollywood films about the global “war on terror” to recruitment advertisements targeted toward diverse individuals. As we encounter, consume, and produce such media, the ways in which different bodies are included, positioned, and erased contributes to understandings of race, gender, sexuality, and citizenship. This course explores sites across the mediascape and engages with interdisciplinary scholarship related to the study of media, militarization, difference, and the nation. The course explores the construction and ongoing maintenance of the military-entertainment complex and what implications mediated relationships to warfare and militarization have for understandings of citizenship and national belonging. Drawing on a variety of interdisciplinary scholars, including work by Cynthia Enloe, Kimberly Phillips, Jasbir Puar, and Judith Butler, among others, the course links frameworks for thinking of race, gender, sexuality, citizenship, and military service with mediated representations of militarization. Mediated representations of militarization are taken seriously as having implications for politics of belonging within the nation.

This course is cross-listed with African American studies, American studies, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality studies.

Performance, Race, & the Law (Spring 2019)

AAS 385/THEA 389

TTh 10:00–11:15 a.m

This course explores the ways in which racial identity in the United States is co-produced through formal legal decisions (court cases and laws), popular aesthetic forms such as theater and film, and everyday public performances of the self. Students should take away from this class is that racial subjectivity— and the lived experience of race in the United States—is a process of enactment wherein laws and legal definitions of race gain excess meaning in and through individual and collective performances of racial identity. Students will read performance and cultural theory as well as texts such as Robin Bernstein’s Racial Innocence and Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson’s A Race So Different, which situate legal realities in the realm of everyday performance. We will start by examining the Virginia Slave Codes of 1705 and move through the 1790 Naturalization Act, the Dred Scott decision, Black Codes and Jim Crow laws, and the Immigration Act of 1924. Within these periods we will explore the everyday performances and cultural products that co-create the racial identities codified in law. The course will culminate in a performance piece for the Emory community that deconstructs the intertwining of performance and law. In this way, students will the resistant as well as the productive possibilities for performance to aid in the quest for civil and human rights.

This course is cross-listed with history, African American studies and Theater studies.