Writing About Race

Toni Morrison holds up a book while she speaks at a lectern.

Toni Morrison, author of books like The Bluest Eyes and Jazz, winner of the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, speaks at an event honoring Chinua Achebe and the 50th anniversary of Things Fall Apart. (Photo courtest of Angela Radulescu on Flickr. CC-BY-NC-SA.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2013



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Course Features

Course Description

Does race still matter, as Cornel West proclaimed in his 1994 book of that title, or do we now live, as others maintain, in a post-racial society? The very notion of what constitutes race remains a complex and evolving question in cultural terms. In this course we will engage this question head-on, reading and writing about issues involving the construction of race and racial identity as reflected from a number of vantage points and via a rich array of voices and genres. Readings will include literary works by such writers as Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, and Sherman Alexie, as well as perspectives on film and popular culture from figures such as Malcolm Gladwell and Touré.

Sarah King. 21W.742 Writing About Race, Spring 2013. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), http://ocw.mit.edu (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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