SOCS 637
Race and Modernity

Demetrius Eudell           

Course Description
This course examines the idea of “Race” as a belief system specific to the epistemological field of Western culture. It begins with the emergence of the concept in the fifteenth century in the wake of the voyages of the Portuguese to the west coast of Africa and those of Columbus (under the aegis of the Spanish State) to the Americas. The course then analyzes significant moments in the history of “Race” such as the expropriation of the lands of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and the enslavement of Africans; its rearticulation in increasingly biological and eugenic terms in the nineteenth century (subsequently invoked in the Third Reich); its development in Latin America; and the central role (though often invisibilized) it plays in U.S. electoral politics. In other words, rather than viewing “Race” in the terms of the neo-liberal piety of aspiring for a color-blind society, or as an epiphenomenon of a putative more fundamental class structure, or as a consequence of patriarchy, the course examines “Race” as an organizing principle indispensable to the instituting and reproduction of our modern Western and westernized global civilization. It will therefore demonstrate that “Race” has taken the place of “myth” and religions in our secular (though still Judaeo-Christian) society, serving as an explanatory model and behavior regulatory mechanism, as the earlier forms had served for millennia in agrarian and non-industrial societies before the rise of the West. It can be argued that “Race” is but a modern iteration of the witchcraft complex.
Organization of Course
This course is organized as a graduate seminar. To this effect, students are expected to read a quantity of material and write substantially about it at a level commensurate with first or second year of graduate school. By enrolling in this course, you have consented to these terms. Given the intensive class schedule, students are expected to have completed most of the reading as well as some written assignments before the beginning of the course. Each day the class will be split into two separate sessions, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, with a lunch break from 12:00 to 1:00. This means that a total of ten individual topics constitute the organization of the course. Students must submit weekly written analyses of the first six sessions of the course by 9am Monday, beginning May 8, 2005, with the exception of Memorial Day weekend, when the response paper can be submitted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006. These papers are to be at least 3 (three) pages in length and should analyze the major arguments put forth in the readings, their methodological/evidence basis, as well as to what extent do you find the arguments convincing. The final paper, which will be distributed on the first day of class, should be at least 10 (ten) pages in length, and is due by Friday, June 30, 2006. Your final grade in the course will be determined by the short papers (50%), the final paper  (30%) and class participation (20%).
Required Texts

These books have been ordered and can be purchased at Broad Street Books. A copy of each book has also been placed on reserve at Olin Library should you wish to consult the readings there. 

Stefan Kühl, The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and National Socialism

Marc Mauer, Race to Incarcerate

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye 

In addition to these books, other required readings have been placed on reserved at Olin Library.  Most of these can be accessed electronically via online reserve, but some are only available in hard copy. The readings available only in hard copy (that is, cannot be accessed electronically) have been noted by [HC] in the bibliography. A bibliography of all the additional required readings follows the schedule of the course.
Course Schedule
June 12

Morning Session: Race and the Expansion of Europe in the 15th Century
            Readings: Daniel Boorstin, The Discoverers           
            Ivan Hannaford, Race: The History of an Idea in the West  
            V. Y. Mudimbe, “Romanus Pontifex (1454) and the Expansion of Europe”
            J. H. Parry, The Age of Reconnaisance
            J. R. Russell-Wood, “Before Columbus: Portugal’s African Prelude…”
            [paper May 8] 

Afternoon Session: The Middle Passage, Slavery, and the West
            Readings: John B. Boles, Black Southerners, 1619-1869
            David Eltis, The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas
            George Fredrickson, The Black Image in the White Mind (pp. 43-70) [HC]     
            Patrick Manning, Slavery and African Life
            [paper due May 15]

June 13

Morning Session: Race Discourse in the Nineteenth Century
            Readings:  Fredrickson, The Black Image in the White Mind (pp. 71-164) [HC]
            Reginald Horsman, Race and Manifest Destiny [HC]
            [paper due May 22] 

Afternoon Session: Racial Discourse in Latin American and the Caribbean
            Readings:  Richard Graham, The Idea of Race in Latin America [HC]
            Verena Martinez-Alier, Marriage, Class and Colour in 19th Century Cuba
            Ernesto Sagás, Race and Politics in the Dominican Republic
            Winthrop R. Wright, Café con Leche: Race, Class, and National Image in Venezuela
            [paper due May 30]

June 14

Morning Session: The Discourse of the Aryanism
            Readings: Martin Bernal, Black Athena
            Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wipperman, The Racial State: Germany 1933-1945
            James Jones, Bad Blood          
            Stefan Kühl, The Nazi Connection
            [paper due June 5] 

Afternoon Session: The Social Movements of the 1950s and 1960s
            Readings: James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time & “An Open Letter to Angela Davis”
            H. Rap Brown, Die Nigger Die!
            Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”
            Emma Jones Lapsansky, “Black Power is My Mental Health”
            Malcolm X, Malcolm X Speaks
            [paper due June 12]

June 15

Morning Session: Race and Pedagogy
            Readings: Elaine Mensh and Harry Mensh, The IQ Mythology [HC]
            John Ogbu, Minority Education and Caste [HC]
            Carter G. Woodson, The Miseducation of the Negro 

Afternoon Session: Understanding Race as a Belief System
            Readings: Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
            Sylvia Wynter, “1492: A New World View”

June 16

Morning Session: Race and U.S. Electoral Politics
            Readings: Thomas and Mary Edsall, Chain Reaction
            Ronald Walters, White Nationalism, Black Interests [HC]           

Afternoon Session: Where Do We Go From Here?
            Readings: Marc Mauer, Race to Incarcerate

Reserve Readings

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (New York: The Dial Press, 1963), 17-24.

___. “An Open Letter to My Sister Angela Y. Davis in If They Come in the Morning, Angela Y. Davis, Ruchell Magee, the Soledad Brothers, and Other Political Prisoners, eds. (New York: New American Library/Signet, 1971), 19-23. 

Martin Bernal, Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987), 317-326, 387-392. 

John B. Boles, Black Southerners, 1619-1869 (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1983), 52-84. 

Daniel Boorstin , The Discoverers (New York: Random House, 1983), 165-172. 

H. Rap Brown, Die Nigger Die! (New York: The Dial Press, 1969), 1-11. 

Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wipperman, The Racial State: Germany, 1935-1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 136-197. 

Thomas Edsall and Mary Edsall, “Building a Top-Down Coalition” in Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics (New York: W. W. Norton, 1991), 3-31. 

David Eltis, The Rise of Slavery in the Americas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 1-28. 

George Fredrickson, The Black Image in the White Mind: The Debate on Afro-American Character and Destiny, 1817-1914 (1971: Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1987), 43-70, 71-164. [HC] 

Richard Graham, ed. The Idea of Race in Latin America (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990), 8-69. [HC] 

Ivan Hannaford, Race: The History of an Idea in the West (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), xi-xvi, 3-16. [R-204] 

Reginald Horsman, Race and Manifest Destiny (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981), 98-228. [HC] 

James H. Jones, Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (New York: The Free Press, 1-29, 206-229, 252-255. 

Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963) in A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr., James Melvin Washington, ed. (New York: Harper and Row, 1986), 289-302. 

Emma Jones Lapsansky, “Black Power is My Mental Health” in Black Americans, John F. Szwed, ed. (Washington, DC: Voice of America Forum Series, 1970), 3-15. 

Patrick Manning, Slavery and African Life: Occidental, Oriental and African Slave Trades (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 1-37. 

Verena Martinez-Alier, Marriage, Class and Colour in Nineteenth Century Cuba: A Study of Racial Attitudes and Sexual Values in a Slave Society (1974; Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1989), 71-99. 

Elaine Mensh and Harry Mensh, The IQ Mythology: Class, Race, Gender and Inequality (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1991), 1-46, 85-107. [HC]  

V. Y. Mudimbe, “Romanus Pontifex (1454) and the Expansion of Europe” in Race, Discourse and the Origins of the Americas: A New World View, Vera Lawrence Hyatt and Rex Nettleford, eds. (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995), 59-65. [R-204] 

John U. Ogbu, Minority Education and Caste: The American System in Cross-Cultural Perspective (New York: Academic Press, 1978), 1-42, 343-370. [HC] 

J. H. Parry, The Age of Reconnaissance (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), 19-52, 227-241. 

J. R. Russell-Wood, “Before Columbus: Portugal’s African Prelude to the Middle Passage and Contribution to Discourse on Race and Slavery” in Race, Discourse and the Origins of the Americas: A New World View, Vera Lawrence Hyatt and Rex Nettleford, eds. (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995), 134-168. 

Ernesto Sagás, Race and Politics in the Dominican Republic (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2000), 1-43.

Ronald W. Walters, White Nationalism, Black Interests: Conservative Public Policy and the Black Community (Detroit: Wayne State University, 2003), 67-170. 

Carter G. Woodson, The Miseducation of the Negro (1933; New York: AMS Press, 1977), ix-xiv, 1-25. 

Winthrop R. Wright, Café con Leche: Race, Class, and National Image in Venezuela (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990), 1-12. 

Sylvia Wynter, “1492: A New World View” in Race, Discourse and the Origins of the Americas: A New World View, Vera Lawrence Hyatt and Rex Nettleford, eds. (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995), 5-57. 

Malcolm X, Malcolm X Speaks (New York: Pathfinder, 1965), 18-44, 212-213.

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