In the early 1990s, U.S. census results gave rise to widespread projections of the end of the white majority. Time magazine’s iconic 1993 cover showcased a computer-generated composite racial figure who personified the “New Face of America.” The historic election of Barack Obama seems to represent the culmination of these trends in what is increasingly touted as the “end” of race. This transformation is taking place at a time when U.S. imperial expansion continues apace, and economic and environmental collapse threatens the planet on a wide scale, disproportionately affecting the poor and racialized peoples of the world. This course explores the millennial discourse of race that has developed in the United States in the past two decades in domestic and transnational contexts. Readings in recent postracial discourse will be paired with theories of racialization as well as creative explorations of race by writers and cultural critics. We will hone our understanding of what it means to read the end of race, using the methods of literary analysis to develop a critical appreciation of how race structures the world in which we live. Readings will include The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois, Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldúa, Brown by Richard Rodriguez, An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire by Arundhati Roy, as well as a required course reader.
Once this course is full/closed, you can sign up to the wait list at:
Students on the wait-list must still attend the first day of lecture/section to enroll in the course.