21W.742 | Spring 2013 | Undergraduate

Writing About Race


Required Texts

[Morrison] = Morrison, Toni. Jazz. Vintage, 2004. ISBN: 9781400076215.

[Díaz] = Díaz, Junot. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Riverhead Trade, 2008. ISBN: 9781594483295. [Preview with Google Books]

[Arundhati] = Roy, Arundhati. The God of Small Things. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2008. ISBN: 9780812979657.

1 Introduction: Does Race (Still) Matter?
Khan, Farah. “A South Asian American Female’s Plea for Change,” AsAmNews, February 3, 2013.  No films.
2 Finish class handout   No films.
3 Race and Childhood

Kilpatrick, Jacquelyn. “Disney’s ‘politically correct’ Pocahontas.” (PDF) Cineaste 21, no. 4 (1995): 00097004.

Kohl, Herbert R. Should We Burn Babar?: Essays on Children’s Literature and the Power of Stories. New Press, 1996. ISBN: 9781565842595.

Pocahontas. Directed by Mike , and Eric Goldberg. Color, 81 min. 1995. [16mm/DVD] Disney.
4  No readings.  No films.
5 “Reading Against the Grain” Sherman, Alexie. “Introduction to Smoke Signals.” In Smoke Signals: A Screenplay. Hyperion, 1998. ISBN: 9780786883929. Smoke Signals. Directed by Chris Eyre. Distributed by Miramax Films. Color, 89 min. 1998. [16mm/DVD]
6 White Rescue and Black Helplessness

Gladwell, Malcom. “The Courthouse Ring: Atticus Finch and the Limits of Southern Liberalism,” The New Yorker, August 10, 2009. Politics and Prose.

Association of Black Women Historians. “An Open Statement to Fans of The Help.”

George, Nelson. “Still Too Good, Too Bad or Invisible,” The New York Times, February 15, 2013.

Turner, Patricia A. “Dangerous White Stereotypes,” The New York Times, August 28, 2011.

To Kill a Mockingbird. Directed by Robert Mulligan. Black and White, 129 min. 1962. [16mm/DVD]

The Help. Directed by Tate Taylor. Color, 146 min. 2011. [16mm/DVD]

7  No readings.  No films.
8 That Difficult Intersection: Race and Gender

[Morrison] Start.

Coates, Ta-Nehisi. “The Good, Racist People,” The New York Times, March 6, 2013.

D’Angelo, Raymond, and Lolita Buckner Inniss. “Shopping While Black: Racism in Everyday Life,The New York Times, March 10, 2013. (Letters to the Editor)

Precious. Directed by Lee Daniels_._ Color, 110 min. 2009. [16mm/DVD]
9 [Morrison] Continue.   No films.
10 Writing as Improv
[Morrison] Finish.  No films.
11  No readings. The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in American Cinema. Directed by Nancy De Los Santos, Alberto Domínguez, et al. Black and White | Color, 90 min. 2002. [16mm/DVD]
12 Entre Familia/Switching Codes and Interpreting Cultural Tropes
 No readings. Real Women Have Curves. Directed by Patricia Cardoso. Color, 90 min. 2002. [16mm/DVD]
13  No readings.  No films.
14 Race/Raza and Kinship Ties
[Díaz] pp. 1–100.  No films.
15 [Díaz] pp. 100–201.  No films.
16 Longing and Belonging

[Díaz] pp. 201–end.

Wroe, Nicholas. “Junot Díaz: A Life in Books,” The Guardian, August 31, 2012.

Artpopulus. “Tracey Moffatt Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy (1989) 2.” August 1, 2008. Youtube. Accessed November 15, 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqdK7gryXp0&list=PL4367200E14BF8DEF
17  No readings. Rabbit-Proof Fence. Directed by Phillip Noyce. Color, 94 min. 2002. [16mm/DVD]
18 Race in the Global Context

[Arundhati] Chapters 1–4.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Can the Subaltern Speak?” In Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture. Edited by Cary and Grossberg, Lawrence Nelson. University of Illinois Press, 1987, pp. 271–313. ISBN: 9780252011085.

 No films.

[Arundhati] Chapters 5–11.

Chakraverty, Devasmita. “Wrong Picture on the Right Page,” NRI Life, April 4, 2012.

 No films.
20 [Arundhati] Chapters 12–21. Listen to: The Rolling Stones. “Ruby Tuesday.” July 17, 2012. Youtube. Accessed December 13, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYx_NfnoHL8
21 Popular Culture and Race

Rivers, 3rd, Eugene F. and Jacqueline C. Rivers. “Should Harvard Teach A Course On The Wire?Huff Post, October 1, 2010.

Jones, Sophie. “Women and the Wire,” PopMatters, August 24, 2008.

Weaver, Afaa M. “Baltimore Before The Wire: A Memoir.” In The Wire: Urban Decay and American Television. Bloomsbury Academic, 2009. ISBN: 9780826438041. [Preview with Google Books]

Brooks, Ryan. “The Narrative Production of ‘Real Police.” In The Wire: Urban Decay and American Television. Bloomsbury Academic, 2009. ISBN: 9780826438041. [Preview with Google Books]

Klein, Amanda Ann. “The Dickensian Aspect’: Melodrama, Viewer Engagement, and the Socially Conscious Text.” In The Wire: Urban Decay and American Television. Bloomsbury Academic, 2009. ISBN: 9780826438041. [Preview with Google Books]

The Wire, “Misgivings Season 4, Episode 10. Directed by Ernest R Dickerson. Color, 60 min. 2006.
22 Kocela, Christopher. “From Columbus to Gary Cooper: Mourning the Lost White Father in the Sopranos.” Chapter 8 in Feminist Television Criticism: A Reader. Edited by Charlotte Brunsdon and Lynn Spigel. Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780335225446. [Preview with Google Books] The Sopranos, “Christopher, Season 4, Episode 3. Directed by Timothy Van Patten. Color, 58 min. 2002.
23 “Post-Racial” Race Relations

Hsu, Hsuan L. “Racial Privacy, the L.A. Ensemble Film, and Paul Haggis’s Crash.” Touré. “The Most Racist Thing That Ever Happened…” Chapter 5 in Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means to Be Black Now. Atria Books, 2012. ISBN: 9781439177563.

Williams, Patricia. The Alchemy of Race and Rights: Diaries of a Law Professor. Harvard University Press, 1991, pp. 3–14. [Preview with Google Books]

Tesfamariam, Rahiel. “Lolo Jones, Meagan Good: Black Female Sexuality Depicted in Extremes,” The Washington Post, May 20, 2012.

Crash. Directed by Paul Haggis. Color, 112 min_._ 2004. [16mm/DVD]
24  No readings.   No films.
25 The Bird is in Your Hand
Morrison, Toni. “The Bird Is In Your Hand.”  No films.
26  No readings.  No films.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2013
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments