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Critical Race Theory and Your Education

Semester and Year FA 2018
Course Number IDSEM-UG1986
Section 001
Instructor Vasuki Nesiah
Days R
Time 6:20 PM - 7:35 PM
Units 2
Level U


This 2-unit, 14-week course is open to sophomores and juniors only. It is uniquely structured so that each session is co-taught by different Gallatin faculty. The list of instructors include Rebecca Amato, Sinan Antoon, Kwami Coleman, Sybil Cooksey, Marie Cruz Soto, Kim DaCosta, Lisa Daily, Anne DeWitt, Kristoffer Diaz, Michael Dinwiddie, Valerie Forman, Hannah Gurman, Kristin Horton, AB Huber, Rosanne Kennedy, Eugenia Kisin, Ritty Lukose, Meleko Mokgosi, Vasuki Nesiah, Myisha Priest, Frank Roberts, George Shulman, and Alejandro Velasco.


This class will foreground race, racism and racial structures to interrogate and trouble dominant intellectual traditions. Co-taught by over 20 Gallatin faculty, each week we will attend to how different fields of study construct knowledge; we will try to better understand how we may unpack the racial grammar, sometimes visible often latent, that shapes and constricts disciplinary knowledge, and how particular assumptions and perspectives get authorized and amplified within the university’s walls. How might we situate different ways of knowing in relation to historical and contemporary maps of power and privilege, local and/or global? How might the dominant intellectual traditions in your area of concentration be challenged by foregrounding legacies of colonialism and/or slavery? How would feminist, queer, Marxist critique help us probe these questions further? And what will you have to unlearn in asking these questions? What new lines of inquiry, responsibility and solidarity might be open for you? The class will expose students to a rich body of literature that vividly challenges the racial unconscious of a broad variety of disciplines (anthropology, law, philosophy, history, literature, music etc.), and of course of the university experience itself. We will draw on texts that directly challenge the dominant traditions, as well as texts that have been shaped by subordinated traditions. Readings include scholars such as W.E.B. DuBois, James Baldwin, Edward Said, Derrick Bell, Achille Mbembe, Lisa Lowe, Fred Moten, Traci Lynn Voyles and Rod Ferguson.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)