The Making and Remaking of Race

One semester
Open to 10, 11, 12
Range of difficulty 1-4

1. Rationale

The course explores issues of race and identity from a variety of sources and in a variety of forms. The focus is on the relationship between, and the construction of, race and identity in American culture. Students will consider the nature and significance of racial identity in relation to the group and to the individual.

2. Topics or themes emphasized

Some of the themes of the course are as follows:

• the idea that “race” has no biological validity
• the complexity of the issue of racial identity and group allegiance
• the role language plays in race relations (for ex., what terms are acceptable)
• the relationship between issues of race and class
• racism in the media
• integration/segregation
• stereotyping

3. Methods and Sample Assignment

Students will be assessed on a range assessments, such as participation, in-class writing, formal essays, quizzes, and projects. Writing assignments may include analytical essays, imaginative/creative responses and personal essays.

4. Expectations for students

Students should expect to read approximately twenty pages per night and to write at least three formal papers. The range of material allows for multiple points of entry to the topics and themes.

5. Reading List

Reading for each class will be drawn from the following:
American Born Chinese
Benito Cereno
The Ballad of Black Tom

Passing
Indian Killer
Yellow Face
Caucasia
“Big Black Good Man” by Richard Wright
“Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin
short stories by Toni Morrison
short stories by Hemingway
short stories by Flannery O’Connor

Films:
Reel Injun
Dear White People
Do the Right Thing

 rev. 10/17

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