_My children are one half of black. They are also one half of me. I want them to be anything. They are not just a color that people see_. Heidi Durrow, The Girl who Fell from the Sky. _The implication is that only certain Americans can define what it means to be American, and the rest must simply fit in_. Cornel West, Race Matters. This ALANA course explores racial dilemmas in America through building a frame of analysis on American society according to race and the issues of ethnicity, class, and gender. These general issues will be explored through perspectives on economics and power dynamics, identity and rhetoric, the media, immigration, multi-racial and biracial identities, the phenomenon of passing in regard to how one is seen in society, and other contemporary problems. We will address and think through African American, Latino/a, and Asian American experiences and identities that will spur us to think about ways of re-envisioning the idea of race in America. We will pressure this type of thinking through the dynamics of how one is seen, stereotyped/imaged, and imagined in American society according to such factors as community, inequality, racism, and discrimination on the bases of class, ethnicity, and gender. We will focus on a variety of critical essays and analyses, and a novel in the final week of our course. Our readings will be complemented by other multi-media lectures, interviews, and films. We will begin with building a critical/theoretical platform that explores the dilemmas of race and its inextricable relation to class/gender problems in America through reading the short book by Bell Hooks, Where We Stand: Class Matters. This will be complemented through reading a very brief critical essay on race by Cornel West. In further considerations of race and African Americans, we will consider a speech by Malcolm X and explore his relevance today through reading very short essays by Manning Marable and Cornel West. In our section on Latinos/as we will begin with reading an essay by IIan Stavans which will allow us to explore the intersections of race and ethnicity in considering the meanings of Latino/a and Hispanic identity in America according to issues of culture and language. We will continue to ruminate on these issues in relation to gender and immigration through reading the essay Maid in Hollywood: Producing Latina Labor in an Anti-immigration Imaginary in Dangerous Curves: Latina Bodies in the Media by Isabel Molina-Guzman which will be considered alongside our viewing of James L. Brooks film Spanglish. In turning to the Asian American experience we will read the essay The Perpetual Foreigner: Yellow Peril in the Pacific Century in Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White by Frank H. Wu, and also view the film My Name is Khan by Karan Johar. In the final week of our course we will shift our focus to multi-racial and biracial dilemmas in America that we will initially situate theoretically through reading the essay The Making of a Category in Making Multiracials: State, Family, and Market in the Redrawing of the Color Line by Kimberly DaCosta. The issues of this essay will be brought to distinct consideration in our reading of the novel The Girl who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow that serves as a social commentary on racial dilemmas in America today.
This course will move at a very comfortable pace during our four weeks this summer, where you will submit posts for a forum on Mondays and Wednesdays, and our forum discussion will occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Communication expectations and policies: 1. Two weekly posts in response to assignments that I will pose for two weekly forums on the discussion board. 2. Pose at least two carefully considered questions in response to two different student posts per forum. 3. Respond with at least two critically well-thought critical commentaries to two different posts per forum. 4. Weekly 500 word (minimum) private journal entries due on Fridays. There are no exams or further papers.
Grading Policy - 100% of your grade will be based on: 1. Your independence in how you establish the strength of your presence in the forums on the discussion board, and your contribution to creating a dynamic online classroom community. 2. Your particular use of language in posts, comments, and questions, and how this is indicative and reflective of your skills of textual interpretation and critical thought in establishing clear relations between the readings of texts and national/global perspectives. 3. Your abilities of textual analysis in how you assess and address the readings in critical discussion and argument with your colleagues. 4. The caliber and degree of reflection in your weekly private journal entries.