Critical Race Studies
Critical Race Studies
Political Science 514
University of Washington
Thursday, 1:30-4:20 p.m.
Course Website: https://catalyst.uw.edu/workspace/jturner3/18535/192658
131 Gowen Hall
Office Hours: Tuesday 1-3 pm
This course surveys classic and contemporary works in the transdisciplinary field of critical race studies. The primary focus is the United States, but the course sets the U.S. in its larger context of global white supremacy. Readings include W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk, David Roediger’s The Wages of Whiteness, Charles Mills’ The Racial Contract, Cedric Robinson’s Black Marxism, Aziz Rana’s The Two Faces of American Freedom, Lisa Lowe’s Intimacies of Four Continents, James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider, and Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera.
The books below are available at the University Book Store. The editions specified are recommended. Readings not included below will be distributed by the instructor.
W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, ed. David W. Blight and Robert Gooding-Williams (Bedford: Bedford Books,  1997)
David R. Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class, rev. and exp. ed. (London: Verso,  2007)
Charles W. Mills, The Racial Contract (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997)
Cedric Robinson, Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition, new ed. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press,  2000)
Aziz Rana, The Two Faces of American Freedom (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010)
Lisa Lowe, The Intimacies of Four Continents (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015)
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (New York: Vintage,  1993)
Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (Berkeley: Crossing Point Press, 1984)
Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, 4th ed. (San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books,  2012)
Requirements for Enrolled Students
- Complete each week’s reading prior to seminar.
- Post a 100-word response to the reading to the Canvas discussion forum no later than 8:30 a.m. on the day of seminar.
- Read the Canvas responses of your classmates prior to seminar.
- Participate thoughtfully and regularly in seminar; listen carefully to others.
- Write three 7-page papers. Three prompts will be distributed over the course of the quarter. (On any of these occasions, you may design your own alternative prompt in consultation with me.) Papers will be due 14 days after the distribution of prompts.
Paper 1: Prompt distributed Friday, January 12; paper due Friday, January 26.
Paper 2: Prompt distributed Friday, February 2; paper due Friday, February 16.
Paper 3: Prompt distributed Friday, March 2; paper due Friday, March 16.
Submit all papers by email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quality of Canvas responses: 20%
Quality of class participation: 20%
Paper 1: 20%
Paper 2: 20%
Paper 3: 20%
Students needing academic accommodations for a disability should contact Disability Resources for Students, 448 Schmitz Hall, V: (206) 543-8924, TTY: (206) 543-8925, email@example.com. If you have a letter from DRS confirming the need for academic accommodations, please present this letter to me so that we can discuss and arrange accommodations.
* = handout
I. The Politics of Whiteness in the United States
- January 4: After Slavery: Part I
Frederick Douglass, “Self-Made Men” (1893)*
Booker T. Washington, “Atlanta Exposition Address” (1895)*
W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903), Forethought and Chapters 1-3
Optional Reading: Jack Turner, “Douglass and Political Judgment: The Post-Reconstruction Years” (2018)*
- January 11: After Slavery: Part II
Read: W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903), Chapters 4-14 and
Ida B. Wells-Barnett, “Self-Help” (1892)*
- January 18: White Identity and Racial Triangulation
Read: David R. Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the
American Working Class, rev. and exp. ed. ( 2007)
Claire Jean Kim, “The Racial Triangulation of Asian Americans” (1999)*
- January 25: White Power
Read: Charles W. Mills, The Racial Contract (1997)
Cheryl I. Harris, “Whiteness as Property” (1993)*
II. Global White Supremacy: Marxian and Postcolonial Perspectives
- February 1: Racial Capitalism
Read: Cedric Robinson, Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition, new ed. ( 2000), Prefaces, Introduction, Chapters 1, 4-9.
- February 8: Settler Colonialism
Read: Aziz Rana, The Two Faces of American Freedom (2010)
- February 15: Ravages of Liberalism
Read: Lisa Lowe, The Intimacies of Four Continents (2015)
III. Voices of Resistance
- February 22: Confronting Racial Innocence
Read: Ralph Ellison, “What America Would Be Like Without Blacks” (1970)*
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)
- March 1: A Politics of Difference
Read: Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (1984)
Optional Reading: Jack Turner, “Audre Lorde’s Politics of Difference” (Manuscript)*
- March 8: Mestizaje
Read: Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera (1987), pp. 19-120.
Cristina Beltrán, “Patrolling Borders: Hybrids, Hierarchies, and the
Challenge of Mestizaje” (2004)*