Course Syllabus MAP BA 2011

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The Black Atlantic
MAP-UA 534| Cultures and Contexts
SILV 206 | Mondays & Wednesdays, 12.30-1:45 pm
Course Format
Course description
1
Course Schedule
2-4
Course Requirements 4
Grading Scale
4
Required Texts
3
Professor
Michael Ralph
Social & Cultural Analysis
20 Cooper Square, 434
Office Hours|
Wednesdays 8.45-10.45 am
[email protected]
TAs
Carmen Phillips
Recitations|
Sec. 002, 8:00am-9:15am, SILV 510
Sec. 003, 9:30-10:45am, TISC LC4
[email protected]
Max Mishler
Recitations|
Sec. 004, 3:30-4:45pm, TISC LC7
Sec. 005, 4:55-6:10pm, TISC LC4
[email protected]
Lorem
Ipsum Dolor
This course introduces students to the ways that scholars have defined Africa’s
historical relationship to the Atlantic World, how they have conceived of what
has come to be known as “The Black Atlantic,” and the approaches they have
used to critique and enrich this formulation. This means exploring key events of
the modern period: the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, the
Enlightenment, the Transatlantic slave trade, the birth of capitalism, and the
formation of international systems for diplomacy and economic exchange. We
will examine how race, gender, economic standing, social status, generation and
ability shape economic and political aspirations and emotional attachments.
Scholarly approaches to the “Black Atlantic” tend to use the “African
Diaspora” as a lens and have historically focused on religion as a medium of
historical transmission. We will review this literature yet push beyond it to
consider how forms of credit/debt and exchange, injury, militarism and
aesthetic production create forms of social belonging. As a case study, this
course will focus critical attention on the city of New Orleans, first as an early
modern commercial shipping center, then as a slave entrepôt, and finally as a
colony of France and then Spain, and finally as a US city.
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534| Cultures and Contexts
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Course Schedule
1
Theorizing “The Black Atlantic”
2
5
3
6
4
Wednesday, September 7th
Course Overview
If God is Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise. Spike Lee, dir.
Monday, September 12th
Paul Gilroy. 1993. “The Black Atlantic as a
Counterculture of Modernity, pp. 1-40.
Michel Rolph-Trouillot. 2002. “North Atlantic
Fictions: Globalization, 1492-1945.”
Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness. Vince Brown, dir.
Militarism and Modern Credit-Debt
7
8
Required Texts
Walter Johnson. 2001. Soul by Soul: Life Inside an
Antebellum Slave Market. Harvard. University Press.
Gwendolyn Midlo Hall. 1992. Africans in Colonial
Louisiana. LSU Press.
Jane Landers. 2010. Atlantic Creoles in the Age of
Revolution. Harvard University Press.
Daniel Rasmussen. 2011. American Uprising: The
Untold Story of America’s Largest Slave Revolt.
W.W. Norton.
Bryan Wagner. 2009. Disturbing the Peace: Black
Culture and Police Power after Slavery. Harvard
University Press.
Wednesday, September 14th
Robert Farris Thompson. 1983. Flash of the Spirit,
pp. xiii-xvii.
Vince Brown. 2003. “Spiritual Terror and Sacred
Authority in Jamaican Slave Society,” pp. 24-53.
Kate Ramsey. 2011. “Introduction.” Spirits and the
Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti, pp. 1-23.
Monday, September 19th
John K. Thornton. 2010. “African Soldiers in Haitian
Revolution,” pp. 195-213.
Naomi Klein. 2010. “A Creditor not a Debtor
Nation.” ZNet 13 February
Julius Scott. 2010. “Negroes in Foreign Bottoms,”
pp. 69-98.
Select one essay from Michael Ralph, ed. 2010. Ayiti
Kraze [Haiti in Fragments].
Wednesday, September 21st
James Searing. 1993. West African Slavery and Atlantic
Commerce, pp. 59-92.
Monday, September 26th
James Searing. 1993. West African Slavery and Atlantic
Commerce, pp. 163-193.
Problem of Political Legitimacy
Wednesday, September 28th
Gwendolyn Midlo Hall. 1992. Africans in Colonial
Louisiana, pp. 1-55.
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Contradictions of Modern Sovereignty
Wednesday, October 26th
Jane Landers. 2010. Atlantic Creoles in the Age of
Revolution, pp. 55-137.
Monday, October 31st
Jane Landers. 2010. Atlantic Creoles in the Age of
Revolution, pp. 138-203.
Risk, Liability and Political Belonging
Wednesday, November 2nd
Daniel Rasmussen. 2011. American Uprising, pp. 1-60.
Monday, November 7th
Daniel Rasmussen. 2011. American Uprising, pp. 61-114.
Monday, October 3rd
Gwendolyn Midlo Hall. 1992. Africans in Colonial
Louisiana, pp. 56-118.
Wednesday, November 9th
Daniel Rasmussen. 2011. American Uprising, pp. 115-166.
The Social Network
Monday, November 14th
Daniel Rasmussen. 2011. American Uprising, pp. 167-218.
Wednesday, October 5th
Gwendolyn Midlo Hall. 1992. Africans in Colonial
Louisiana, pp. 119-200.
Monday, October 10th
No Class
Wednesday, October 12th
Gwendolyn Midlo Hall. 1992. Africans in Colonial
Louisiana, pp. 201-274.
Monday, October 17th
Gwendolyn Midlo Hall. 1992. Africans in Colonial
Louisiana, pp. 275-342.
Wednesday, October 19th
Gwendolyn Midlo Hall. 1992. Africans in Colonial
Louisiana, pp. 343-380.
George E. Brooks, Jr. 1976. “The Signares of SaintLouis and Gorée, pp. 19-43.
Age of Freedom
Wednesday, November 16th
Walter Johnson. 2001. Soul by Soul, pp. 1-44.
Faubourg Tremé. Lucie Faulknor & Dawn Logsdon, dirs.
Monday, November 21st
Walter Johnson. 2001. Soul by Soul, pp. 45-116.
Wednesday, November 23rd
Walter Johnson. 2001. Soul by Soul, pp. 117-161.
Monday, November 28th
Walter Johnson. 2001. Soul by Soul, pp. 161-221.
Law & Order, Crime & Capital
Wednesday, November 30th
Bryan Wagner. 2009. Disturbing the Peace, pp. 1-57.
Transnationalism and the Politics of Mobility
Wednesday, October 24th
Jane Landers. 2010. Atlantic Creoles in the Age of
Revolution, pp. 1-54.
Midterm Exam due
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Monday, December 5th
Bryan Wagner. 2009. Disturbing the Peace, pp. 58-115.
Wednesday, December 7th
Bryan Wagner. 2009. Disturbing the Peace, pp. 185-238.
Monday, December 12th
Zada Johnson. 2010. Walking the Post-Disaster City,
pp. 25-80.
Final Exam due
Wednesday, December 14th
Zada Johnson. 2010. Walking the Post-Disaster City,
pp. 136-202.
A Village Called Versailles. S. Leo Chiang, dir.
Course Requirements
Academic Integrity
Plagiarism will not be tolerated in any form. Please read NYU’s statement on Academic Integrity here:
http://www.nyu.edu/cas/map/guidelines/academicintegrity.html. Any student caught plagiarizing will
automatically fail the course.
Attendance
Please note that your attendance grade is based on your participation—and not merely your presence—in class and
at recitation.
Discussion Questions
Students are expected to submit 2-3 discussion questions by email to the instructor and to both TAs by midnight
of each scheduled class period. Students will also be expected to submit discussion questions to their TAs during
recitation. Discussion Questions should reflect sustained engagement with assigned readings. Discussion
Questions should identify key themes, incorporate illuminating quotes and pose critical questions.
[Recipient]
Exams
The midterm and final grade will each consist of a take-home essay exam. that draws from classroom discussion,
reading assignments and recitations. Each exam will consist of 4 questions, from which the student will select 3
questions s/he will respond to in 2-3 pages each. The goal of the essay is to challenge certain assumptions the
writers have made or to illuminate a perspective the student has developed while digesting the argument. The
essay is not a summary, rather it is a chance to explore some issue the writer has discussed unsatisfactorily.
Grading Scale
20% Class Participation (including Attendance)
20% Assignments
25% Midterm Exam
35% Final Exam
No Late Assignments. No Incompletes. No Exceptions.
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