Course Memo

This course will examine the intersectionality and multidimensionality of race, religion, and belonging, centering the Black experience in the United States. Social and religious institutions operating within the realm of past and present colonial and hegemonic states will be probed and critiqued for their role as upholders, bystanders, or anti-agents of white supremacy, systemic racism, and the larger struggle for Black humanity and justice. The role of race, religion and belonging will be examined and critiqued as an interactive and contested struggle within the socio-economic and political system for citizenship and human rights. This struggle can also be viewed as an impetus driving and shaping decolonial thought and self-determination as manifested through the discourse and activism of Black people in various religious communities, Black Liberation Theology, and the Black Power Movement. The course will explore these areas from four conceptual and interrelated frames: 1. Blackness and race 2. religion 3. cultural memory and continuity, and 4. identity, justice and belonging, drawing upon historical and contemporary readings from Africana studies, including African diaspora and African American studies; visual and media resources; and guest speakers. This course is taught by PhD student Nosizwe Breaux-Abdur-Rahman with a Newhall Award, under the supervision of Munir Jiwa, and is open to all.