Skip to Gallatin Navigation Skip to Gallatin Main Content

Underground Alien Outsider Queer: Black Culture at the Margins

Semester and Year FA 2017
Course Number IDSEM-UG1937
Section 001
Instructor Sybil Cooksey
Days W
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   HUM


Same as SCA-UA 721 001.


Underground Alien Outsider Queer: Black Culture at the Margins is a seminar in which we will consider the long association of each of the title adjectives with the experience of social marginality, political insecurity and existential anxiety. Our aim is to explore whether and how non-belonging inspires (and requires) alternative, transformative, creative, even subversive, approaches to subjectivity and society. This seminar is aggressively interdisciplinary and eclectic, drawing from black studies, cultural studies, performance studies, and sexuality studies, and students should be prepared to critically engage history, literature, philosophy, art, music and film texts. We will wend our way through topics as varied as fugitive slave laws and avant-garde jazz, existentialism and afrofuturism, punk music and Pariah; we analyze works by Bruce Nugent, George Schuyler, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Thelonious Monk, James Baldwin, Sun Ra, Amiri Baraka, Octavia Butler, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Thornton Dial. Our readings and discussions will provide us with an occasion to think about new and unexpected ways—underground alien outsider queer ways—of appreciating and studying black culture.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)