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Underground Alien Outsider Queer: Black Culture at the Margins

Semester and Year FA 2018
Course Number IDSEM-UG1937
Section 001
Instructor Sybil Cooksey
Days W
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   HUM



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. Drawing from black studies, cultural studies, performance studies and sexuality studies, the seminar is aggressively interdisciplinary—be prepared to critically engage history, literature, philosophy, art, music and film texts—and rather eclectic. We will wend our way through topics as varied as fugitive slave laws and avant-garde jazz, black existentialism and afrofuturism, Afropunk,  Pariah  and  The Brother from Another Planet  as we analyze works by Bruce Nugent, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Thelonious Monk, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Sun Ra, Samuel R Delany, Octavia Butler and Audre Lorde. Our readings, writings and discussions will provide us with occasions 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)