Course Description

  • Instructor: Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Ph.D.
  • Description:

    SAS Signature Course

    Fulfills History, Politics, and Philosophy Distribution for LCS Major/Minor Today it is easier than any other point in human history for peoples to know about and connect with each other. Yet we live in a time of violent divides and confrontations. What is at the root of these divides? And what resources do we have to overcome their destructive effect? This class explores the power of “color-lines” in producing divisions among peoples and individuals as well as the possibilities for crossing borders of separation and creating new forms of human connection in the 21st century. We will examine “color lines” and “borderlands” through the work of a wide range of intellectuals, artists, and social activists and explore theories of blackness, Chicana feminism, Native American hip hop, Afro-Asian connections, and artistic work related to the Black Lives Matters movement, among others.

  • Learning Goals:

    Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

    • Develop critical thinking skills
    • Develop multi- and inter-cultural competence
    • Become familiar with various approaches to the understanding of human difference, hierarchies of inequality, and projects for social, intellectual, and artistic transformation
    • Explore and compare social issues through different historical periods and across local and global contexts and identify key intellectuals, artists, and activists associated with them
    • Identify academic sources relevant to the historical, sociological, literary, and/or artistic themes that we consider in the course and acquire basic competency in meaningfully making these sources part of the student’s thinking process
  • Required Reading:
    • W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk [ISBN: 039397393X]
    • Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La frontera [ISBN: 9781879960855]
    • Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples [ISBN:
      9781848139503]
    • Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks [ISBN: 9780802143006]
    • Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me [ISBN: 0812993543]
    • Vijay Prashad, Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of
      Cultural Purity [ISBN: 0807050105]

    Consult Rutgers Barnes & Noble for current books for the course.

  • Evaluation:

    Class Participation = 20%
    Sakai Discussion Forums = 20%
    In-Class Midterm Exam = 25%
    2-Part Paper (6-8 pages total) = 35%
    5 Optional Bonus Points

    This synopsis is intended for informative purposes only; it is provisional and subject to change before the beginning of the semester.

  • Credits: 4
  • SAS Core Certified: AHo, CCD
  • Disclaimer: The information in this course description is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (e.g. Canvas).