Spring 2024 History BC3823 section 001



Call Number 00250
Day & Time
T 4:10pm-6:00pm
308 Diana Center
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required Instructor
Instructor Anupama Rao
Course Description


Recent protests against racial violence erupting across the United States have demanded that the United States address systemic injustice entrenched in its national history. The Black Lives Matter movement has extended still further, inciting communities across the globe to raise their voices against discrimination and inequality.

Rather than viewing the United States— and the north Atlantic, more generally— through an exceptionalist lens, this seminar draws on the strong transnational resonance of the Black Lives Matter movement and the compelling responses of global communities across distinct demographics and colonial histories to decenter the historical origins of race thinking and provincialize its conceptual centrality as a first step in understanding its reach and relevance as a global signifier of “difference” today.

How might we develop critical studies of race and racism that are truly global and extend beyond the historical experience of the North Atlantic, and North America in particular? Might we consider the concept history of race, commonly associated with the Atlantic World and plantation slavery as a form of historical difference proximate to other practices of social hierarchy and distinction across the modern world? How can scholarship that addresses questions of black vitality, fugitivity and Afropessimism engage productively and rigorously with questions of colonial servitude and postcolonial sovereignty that emanates from anticaste thought, ideas of Islamic universality, Pan-Africanism, or heterodox Marxisms?

An exercise in comparative thinking, this seminar will function as an interstitial home for intellectual engagements in both the Global South and North, excavating linkages between injustices perpetrated through divisions of race, caste, and minority status, as well as the conceptual innovations born from struggles against them. We are explicitly focused on the relationship between worldmaking and concept formation. Questions of historical comparison and conceptual convergence are important. So, too the forms of sociopolitical solidarity and political utopias that have arisen as a consequence of struggles against enslavement and imperialism.

Every seminar session will open with a twenty-minute discussion about political and social historical contexts. However, this is a course focused on the close and careful reading of ideas and concepts in a manner si

Web Site Vergil
Department History @Barnard
Enrollment 12 students (15 max) as of 7:07PM Monday, July 22, 2024
Subject History
Number BC3823
Section 001
Division Barnard College
Note Instructor Permission Required. Enrollment Limited.
Section key 20241HIST3823X001