In the following videos, Professor Michel DeGraff describes various aspects of how he teaches 24.912 Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies.
- An Interdisciplinary Approach
- Political Context for the Course
- Framing Cultural Phenomena as Technologies
- Anchoring the Course with #StayWoke
- Leveraging the Humanities to Break Walls and Build Bridges
- Advancing Social Justice
- Critical Computational Empowerment
- Building on the Personal
- Teaching a Wider Audience
- Unlocking Knowledge through MIT OpenCourseWare
Guest Speaker Insights
Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky was a featured guest lecturer in 24.912 Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies. Prior to facilitating a classroom discussion with students, he sat down with the OCW Educator Project Manager to share his insights about contemporary language issues and the value of the course materials for learners. The following videos capture excerpts of their conversation.
This course can be applied toward a Bachelor of Science in Women’s and Gender Studies, but is not required.
Every spring semester
The students’ grades were based on the following activities:
Instructor Insights on Assessment
A rubric was used to assess student writing.
Breakdown by Year
Mostly juniors and seniors, a few freshmen and sophomores
Breakdown by Major
Students were concentrating in a variety of majors.
Typical Student Background
A few students in the course were children of undocumented migrant workers. The sharing of their personal biographies enriched the course because it allowed students who had not had this experience to begin to deconstruct the notion of “illegal immigrants.” Through discussions with their peers, they came to understand that there are acts that are illegal, but that people cannot be illegal.
How Student Time Was Spent
During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:
- Met 2 times per week for 1.5 hours per session; 26 sessions total; mandatory attendance.
- Students participated in discussions and made presentations during class sessions. Sessions also included lectures from the instructor and other guests.
Out of Class
- Students prepared readings, wrote essays, and worked on their presentations outside of class.