Graduate Course Descriptions

Graduate Course Descriptions

Winter 2022

  • BLST 206 “Black Sexualities and Resistance” taught by Professor Omise’eke Tinsley

“When I saw all of the politicians in an uproar about mine and Cardi’s ‘WAP’, I was just really taken back. Why would anyone be mad about my ‘WAP’? It belongs to me.” --Megan Thee Stallion

As Megan Thee Stallion’s tongue-in-cheek question suggests, creative expressions of Black sexuality—especially Black women’s declarations of erotic autonomy—are always already marked as deviant, at once too much and not enough. Too many African American teens have babies and too many Jamaicans are homophobic, not enough Black women get married and not enough Caribbean men are monogamous: rooted in the fictions of chattel slavery, these sexual scripts continually confront African American and Caribbean folks’ attempts to use our bodies as if (in Megan’s words) they “belong to” us. This course explores how creative Black sexual expressions pressure, explode, and reconfigure dominant formulations of gender and sexuality throughout the African Americas. We engage texts that explore historical and contemporary sexualities in the Caribbean, South America, and North America, and represent (inter)disciplines including anthropology, literature, history, feminist studies, queer studies, and cultural studies. Through these engagements, we explore how Black sexualities form in relation to acts of domination and/or resistance, injury and/or creativity, subjugation and/or pleasure. Approaching complicated answers to Megan’s simple question, we interrogate how and why erotic autonomy is necessary to the ongoing Black project of freedom.

Click here for a list of the course readings.

Spring 2022

  • BLST 208 Issues in Black Studies Epistemology and Pedagogy taught by Professor Jeffrey Stewart

Course description coming soon!