Textile arts have been so firmly linked with women’s writing that one of the central metaphors of women’s writing traditions has become the metaphor of the quilt. This course explores this metaphor that proposes the making of beautiful, functional wholes out of fragments and scraps, using it to explore the cultural work of African American women and to illuminate connections between writers and artists. This rich intersection of writing and art allows us to consider broader questions about power; we investigate the ways in which the written works and textiles articulate, challenge and transform representations of race, gender, sexuality, as well as the meanings of art. This course takes us out into the city, where we view the textile creations of Black women artists like Faith Ringgold, Brenda Amina Robinson and Carrie Mae Weems at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the American Craft Museum, and the Museum of Folk Art. Written texts may include: Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Gloria Naylor, Mama Day; Faith Ringgold, Tar Beach ; Ntozake Shange, Sassafras, Cypress and Indigo . We also participate in a quilt-making workshop, where each student creates his or her own textile interpretation of the major issues of the course.