DIASPORA: RACE, NATION & RESISTANCE
This course offers students a comparative study in the makings and meanings of diaspora. We
begin by defining the differences and similarities between diaspora and related concepts such as
race, nation and cultural identity. Focusing specifically on black folk in the Americas, our
concerns will revolve around how different groups in diaspora have understood themselves, and
their relationships to others in the diaspora, their place within the nation, and how a sense of
their ties to one another has fostered alternative ways of being. In turn, how those in the African
diaspora have responded to their place within various nation-states (the United States, Haiti,
Brazil, Dominican Republic, England, etc.) has entailed various forms of resistance. Along these
lines, we will explore how African diasporic populations have responded to slavery, colonialism,
racial oppression, and modernity as they articulated notions of democracy that challenged
dominant structures of citizenship. We explore these ideas through looking at slave revolts,
anticolonial and Afro-Asian liberation struggles, Black/Third World Feminism, globalization,
and the sexual politics of diaspora. Across each of these themes, we work under the premise that
diaspora is an open and fluid space through which its participants “make our world anew.” (This
is a lower division undergrad course).
Students are expected to complete the course readings and to arrive prepared for
discussion based on the readings. Students are expected to maintain regular attendance. After
your third absence (your fourth absence), your grade will be lowered one letter grade (i.e., you
will receive a zero for Attendance). Class assignments include one take-home essay (4-pages,
typed and doubled spaced), an in-class midterm exam (identifications and short essay) and a final.
- Attendance: 10%
- Participation: 15%
- Essay Assignment 20%
- Midterm: 20%
- Final: 35%
• Extra Credit opportunities will be made available to students. Guidelines will be discussed in class
• Guidelines for all assignments, including the midterm and final exam, will be distributed throughout the course of
Available at the University Co-op Bookstore
- Cathy J. Cohen, Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics.
- W.E.B Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk. (2008 Oxford edition; Intro. by Brent Hayes
- George Lamming, The Pleasures of Exile.
- Audre Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name.
- All other readings available on blackboard, or as Electronic book from UT library.