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VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY BLACK QUEER POLITICS RESISTANCE POWER AND THE QUEST FOR UNIVERSAL FREEDOM POLI 347 901 GSWS 391 902 AFAM 491 903 JAYME N CANTY Ph D SPRING 2024 Hybrid Synchronous Flex Wednesdays 4 00pm 6 00pm Class Location Academic Learning Commons 1100 Online Location Zoom link on Canvas Zoom Office hours Wednesdays 2 00pm 3 00pm or by appointment Contact Email cantyj vcu edu drjcanty gmail com Instructor Communication Policy Please email me your concerns and questions I will respond within 24 hours Monday Friday and on weekends within 48 hours If you would like to set up a ZOOM meeting please contact me at least two days in advance Only use in case of emergency or VCU system down Course Description Black queer persons have always acted as political change agents necessary participants in the movements toward human equity Their voices remained central to several movements past and present Evidence of the political activities of Black queer lesbian women include individuals such as Pauli Murray who uncovered the realities of Jane Crow in the American South to the grassroots work of Patrisse Khan Cullors one of the founding voices of the Black Lives Matter Movement Studying and teaching the inclusion of Black queer persons is essential to understanding the foundational elements of several socio political frameworks related to human liberation such as Black feminism intersectionality and transformational political activism In the academy Black queer persons are often placed within academic discussions of humanistic inquiry and cultural productions but this course outlines the necessity for studying Black queer persons as political change agents 1 We need to define each of these terms including what questions arise when we think of black queer politics First what is black In this context the term black refers to persons of African decent living in the Americas Yet does this refer to African immigrants Does this person s history have to be tied to enslavement in America The second part is queer Queer is often a blanket term referring to individuals who live outside of the heteronormative binary These individuals are essentially within the LGBTQIA community but why use the term queer instead of LGBTQIA In some spaces the term queer has a negative connotation Is the term queer inclusive enough or does it provide too much gray area The third term is political Usually when we think of politics we think of the traditional notion of politics such as voting behavior representative democracy law civil rights etc But there s a valid discussion that expands the notion of political to be inclusive of participating in grassroots movements or cultural revolutions For example are the so called rank and file activists considered political Are the mothers who house PTA meetings considered political Are the Black women who did not get recognition during the Civil Rights movement considered political When we think of what is political we often think of political representation or voting We think of politicians and voting behavior But is unique in this case is the fact that black and queer persons did not have the luxury of participating in what we think of as traditional politics We are starting to see an increase of black queer representation in the traditional sense Because there is not a full understanding of what is considered Black queer politics this course will attempt to define what that is and the significance of this in modern day politics This course centers on the Black queer experience and their interaction with the political system We will investigate the ways Black queer persons take the personal and make it political In other words we will find the ways in which Black queer persons humanize what is considered political The question becomes how do these intersectional identities lay the foundation for Black queer politics in the past and today This course will outline the ways in which Black queer persons specifically Black queer lesbian women provided a framework to evaluate Black queer politics and the ways in which black queer persons engaged in the political sphere Being marginalized in racial liberation and feminist movements sparked a political agenda for black women to find a 2 politics that focused on their needs Black feminist ideologies focused on black women s fight for citizenship and political recognition Yet their fight was not limited to cisgender black women Black women opened the door for discussions of black queer identity and politics There was a recognition that the personal was political In fact many of the first black women to formulate the notion of black gender consciousness in the 1970s were black queer women heavily involved in politics both in the traditional sense and through activist activities This course is designed to take an intersectional approach to political science by focusing on Black queer persons The course will incorporate a revolutionary lens in discussing politics by discussing how politics aligns with Robin D G Kelly s black radical imagination and radical Black lesbian feminism Based on this lens this course will evaluate two major texts by black queer women to determine whether these approaches still applies in current works by black queer political leaders Ultimately using Black feminist lens to discuss black queer politics will help us challenge universal issues plaguing American and new discussions of equity and citizenship Student Learning Outcomes After taking this course the students will have the following learning outcomes 1 Describe foundational frameworks that helps address Black queer politics 2 Analyze how these foundational frameworks exists in the current representations of Black queer politics 3 Apply foundational frameworks of Black queer politics to current representations 4 Expand their understanding of what is considered political when including the voices of marginalized communities 5 Explain the way that Black queer persons humanize what is considered political 6 Compile an online site of findings from research on Black queer persons Course Structure Campus Requirements This class is completely online all of the information will be delivered through the online learning environment All lectures assignments and projects will be posted and submitted online 3 Access to online learning system 1 Log on to VCU 2 Go to Canvas 3 Find class Black Queer Politics under courses Academic Expectations of Students


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VCU GSWS 391 - Syllabus

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