Proseminar: Issues in the Fields of Ethnic Studies: Racialization, Gender, and Popular Culture—“Race, Gender & the Geographies of Difference in Culture, 1968-2018”
ETHSTD 103E | CCN: 32946
M/W 5:00 - 6:29pm 106 Wheeler
The 2018-2019 academic marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Third World Liberation Front’s fight for ethnic studies at San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley. These and related movements for social justice demanded that educational, social, political, and cultural institutions make space for historically marginalized groups in institutions across the United States to the present moment. This is even evidenced, for example, by the recently established Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center at UC Berkeley in spring 2017. In demanding the production of new institutional space(s), participants of social movements developed new practices for producing their own spaces of collaboration, conflict, community, and liberation through not only political mobilization but also cultural expression. Culture produced within the context of social movements is not simply material for an archive or example of art imitating life; rather, culture plays a significant role in creating new kinds of space(s) and meaning(s) out of the experiences of political struggle.
In honor of the TWLF’s legacy of continued struggle, our class community will engage in a semester-long study of race, gender, space, and cultural production focused on (but not limited to) diverse spatial experiences and representations of women of color in the United States since 1968. Scholarship on space, race, gender, and culture has grown over the past fifty years but much of the academic literature has often been based on the work of geographers, French theorists, male postmodernists, and/or white feminists that do not necessarily privilege the voices of women of color. In an effort to create our own radical spatial practices in the classroom, our work together will be grounded on woman of color feminist thought, and our collective scholarly journey will aim to shift the power and knowledge of those who came before us “from margin to center,” as bell hooks would say. As such, all of the course materials are carefully selected for their distinct, creative, and rigorous treatment of these topics.