The Literature of Black Insurgency (LIT4390.01) (day/time updated as of 10/9/2023)

Anaïs Duplan

Looting, shooting, and gangs. We have many words for Black violence, a violence frowned upon not just by the racist and reactionary, but also by the ‘reasonable’ neoliberal. Stokely Carmichael’s “The Pitfalls of Liberalism” describes liberals’ tendency to “try to convince the oppressed that violence is an incorrect tactic, that violence will not work, that violence never accomplishes anything.” Indeed, one must, in polite society, never condone violence, and it was the Black Panthers overt embrace of violence that landed them under the surveillance of the American state. That both Malcolm X and his nonviolent counterpart Martin Luther King Jr., however, are eventually assassinated should serve as a kind of food for thought: that both the overt gun-toting violence of the former and spiritually-oriented refusal of violence by the latter were seen as threats to the American project. Readings on power, violence, and the carceral state drawn from Foucault and Jackie Wang’s Carceral Capitalism, among others, will form the backdrop of our look at Black insurgents throughout history––in the Americas and beyond––beginning with Malcolm X and the Black Panthers, reaching into a survey of Black insurrectionary anarchy around the world, and subsequently into texts like C.L.R. James’ The Black Jacobins, which allows us to examine the (non-American) history of violent Black rebellion. Students should expect a heavy reading load (approx. 100-150 pages per week), along with extensive written response and analysis. 

Learning Outcomes:
- Develop understanding of international Black freedom movements
- Develop critical reading and writing skills
- Develop facility with talking about social power and violence

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Interested students should submit a writing sample via this form by November 24, 2023. Students will be notified of acceptance into this class by November 29, 2023.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
F 8:30AM - 12:10PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Black Studies , Day/Time Changes , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Literature , SCT , Updates