Reading & Writing about the Visual Experience: Aesthetics of Black Liberation Advocacy
Monday, Wednesday: 8:00-9:30am
This course will explore the history of aesthetic and performance repertoires of Black radical protest movements in the U.S. with particular focus on the era of Black Lives Matter activism. We will survey the rhetoric and iconography of Black radical expression from the mid-1960s to the 21st century. Through our analysis of photographs, video footage, and various artifacts of racial justice movements, we will investigate how visual culture – in its expressions of indignant rage and racial uplift – has shaped the Black freedom struggle. We will explore cultural nationalism, revolutionary nationalism, Black radical feminism, intersectional consciousness, Leftist politics, respectability politics, and abolition ideology as expressed through the imagery, attire, leaflets, banners, posters, and t-shirts produced in the context of Black liberation movements.Our goal will be to establish strong and sustainable close looking, critical reading, researching, and writing practices. A series of scaffolded writing and research assignments will culminate in a 10-12 page research paper that engages with scholarly sources.