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AAAS 01 — Black Studies Matter

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 sessions
Date(s): Sep 15—Nov 17
Time: 6:30—7:50 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Sep 17
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $260
Instructor(s): Allyson Hobbs
Status: Closed
Please Note: Full schedule: 9 Tuesdays, September 15 - November 17, with no class on November 3; 1 class meeting on Thursday, November 5
Live Online
6:30—7:50 pm (PT)
Sep 15—Nov 17
10 sessions
Drop By
Sep 17
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Allyson Hobbs
Please Note: Full schedule: 9 Tuesdays, September 15 - November 17, with no class on November 3; 1 class meeting on Thursday, November 5
This interdisciplinary course will introduce students to ten foundational texts in Black Studies, including classic works by Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, C. L. R. James, W. E. B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Cathy Cohen, and Audre Lorde. The discussions will connect these texts to contemporary conversations about Black feminism, Black politics, mass incarceration, policing, the Black Lives Matter movement, and Black life in America in the twenty-first century. We welcome a wide range of students to enroll in this course: undergraduates and graduate students and members of the larger Stanford community who would like to gain a deeper understanding of Black Studies. This class is particularly urgent in our current moment. Taken together, the selected readings will provide critical historical and cultural context to grasp the meanings of our own tumultuous times.

This course draws on primary sources that reveal the centrality of Black Studies to understanding our world and the major themes that animate our lives: history, identity, memory, gender, sexuality, belonging, exclusion, and the varied responses and forms of resistance to four hundred years of racial oppression. These texts invite students to delve deeply into the lived experiences of African Americans across time periods, class positions, sexual orientations, and geographic locations. The lectures and discussions are led by faculty in African and African American Studies (AAAS), Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CSRE), History, Theater and Performance Studies, English, and Philosophy. Participants are Allyson Hobbs (Associate Professor of History), Matthew Clair (Assistant Professor of Sociology), Lanier Anderson (Senior Associate Dean for the Humanities and Arts), Vaughn Rasberry (Associate Professor of English), Ato Quayson (Professor of English), Aileen Robinson (Assistant Professor of Theater and Performance Studies), Michele Elam (Professor of English), Jennifer DeVere Brody (Professor of Theater and Performance Studies), Hakeem Jefferson (Assistant Professor of Political Science), Clayborne Carson (Professor of History), and Jim Campbell (Professor of History).

Allyson Hobbs, Course Director; Associate Professor of History; Director of African and African American Studies, Stanford

Allyson Hobbs is an Associate Professor of United States History, the Director of African and African American Studies, and the Kleinheinz Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. She is a contributing writer to the newyorker.com and a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, and The Nation. She has appeared on C-SPAN, MSNBC, and National Public Radio. Her first book, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, won the Organization of American Historians’ Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for best first book in American history and the Lawrence Levine Prize for best book in American cultural history.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) W. E. B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk
(Required)Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
(Required)Toni Morrison, Beloved
(Required) Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun
(Required) Cathy Cohen, The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics
(Required) C. L. R. James, A History of Pan-African Revolt
(Required) Langston Hughes, The Selected Poems of Langston Hughes