English 250

Research Seminar: Black + Queer

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Fall 2015 Ellis, Nadia
Thursdays 3:30-6:30 31 Evans

Book List

Baldwin, James: Giovanni's Room; Cliff, Michelle: No Telephone to Heaven; Hemphill, Essex: Ceremonies; Larsen, Nella: Passing; Lorde, Audre: Zami; Nugent, Thurman, et al: Fire!! A Quarterly Devoted to Negro Artists; Salkey, Andrew: Escape to an Autumn Pavement;

Recommended: McKay, Claude: Home to Harlem

Other Readings and Media

Films:  Jackson, Shirley, dir.: Portrait of Jason; Julien, Isaac, dir.: Frantz Fanon, Black Skin White Mask; Julien, Isaac, dir.: Looking for Langston; Frears, Stephen, dir.: My Beautiful Laundrette; Frears, Stephen, dir.: Sammy and Rosie Get Laid

Critical works by, amongst others: M. Jacqui Alexander; Judith Butler; Cathy Cohen; Roderick Ferguson; Frantz Fanon; Jose Munoz; Christina Sharpe; Vincent Woodward.


Co-taught by Professors Nadia Ellis (English) and Darieck Scott (African American Studies); African American Studies 240 section 1 is the course number for the latter component of the course.

This graduate seminar surveys the intersections between black and queer literatures, cultures, and theories. The course serves both as an introduction to black queer studies and as a way to deepen an already established research interest in the field. We will study classics of 20th-century black queer literature and culture—including James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, and Marlon Riggs—as well a wide variety of contemporary criticism and culture that engages and extends this tradition.

The seminar is a joint offering of the Departments of English and African American Studies and it works in tandem with The Black Room, a Working Group presented by both Departments and supported by the Institute of International Studies. The Black Room will sponsor the public lectures and seminar visits of critics Daphne Brooks and Tavia Nyong’o.

Students will make presentations, write brief response papers, and produce a significant final research paper.

This course satisfies the Group 5 (Twentieth Century) (English Department) requirement.

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