Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History
Racial reparations have been and continue to be one of the most explosive contemporary issues. Some argue that U.S. history of enslavement renders some form of reparations necessary to the quest for social justice; that understanding reparations is central to honest conversations about race and racism. Others argue that reparations for past injustices such as slavery are unfair. Still others refuse to discuss the topic altogether. This course is concerned with the historic and contemporary reparations debate as it pertains to African Americans, including land theft, spatial democracy, and reparative justice. We will pay close attention to how historians, artists, legal scholars, grassroots community activists and elected officials have approached this issue, and gauge its relevance in the #BlackLivesMatter era.
For Whom It Stands--this upper level course brings together the humanities and social sciences, in particular, theater and history in exploration of multiple, conflicting, and contested meanings of the U.S. flag. We will explore the meanings woven into the flag, artistic and political reimagining of the flag, alongside popular meanings and mobilizations of this treasured national symbol. Our goal is to think deeply and broadly about how symbols shape our lives and to look historically and critically about questions of belonging, citizenship, identity, and power domestically and across the globe. We intend to emphasize creative modes of inquiry that are informed and shaped by archival knowledge, oral history narratives, songs, letters, diaries, and speeches that help map the layered and often competing imaginings embroidered into fabric of the flag.