AP/ANTH 2020 6.00
RACE, RACISM & POPULAR CULTURE
This course critically explores ideas of race and racist practice, both past and present. Through a range of readings and audio-visual materials, we will examine how race is produced and reproduced, as well as how racism is perpetuated and sustained, in multiple, shifting, and context-dependent ways. Of particular concern will be the ways in which various forms of popular culture are shaped by, and shape, race and racism.
The course will also look at how race and racisms intersect with, and in, the production of other identity categories and experiences, including gender, nation, class, ethnicity and sexuality. Overall, the course proceeds with the understanding that race is a social (often ideological) construction rather than a biological given. Attention will thus be given to histories of the idea of race and racist practice, and the social forces giving rise to these, both past and present.
The course will also try to illuminate some of the more subtle 'new racisms' characteristic of the contemporary period. A highlighting of Canadian context-specificities will be important in this regard, and throughout. We will also look at how (thinking about) conditions of globalization, diaspora and creolisation can complicate and help to enrich our understandings of race and the workings of racism in the contemporary period. Various strategies of resistance to racism will also be considered and debated in the process of exploring 'race from below'. A range of explanatory models and approaches will be examined from political economy and historical materialism, to discourse theory and performance theory.
Format: Two hour lecture plus one tutorial hour