Fall 2020 - 58970 - PA 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

African American Intellectual History


Course Description

This graduate seminar focuses on black intellectual, political, cultural, literary, and historical figures during the course of the twentieth century.

The course examines the evolution, conflict, and debate surrounding the development of political and intellectual ideologies in pursuit of racial justice, citizenship, and equality (ranging from liberal-integrationist, feminist, conservative, black nationalist and beyond) within the black community from the Great Migration to the present.

Students interested in black politics, civil rights, social policy and the deep connections between the historical development of racial justice struggles and contemporary policy debates and challenges would find this course of interest.

Students will be evaluated based on four criteria:

Weekly three-paragraph critical analysis of the readings; For longer books 3-5 paragraphs.
Rough draft of historiographical critique and presentations
Final twenty-five-page historiographical critique and overview of the development of the scholarship on race and mass incarceration
Class participation

Reading: We will read one book per week.

The course will take a broad view of African American Intellectual History. We will read, study, discuss, and critique the works of black writers, thinkers, workers, feminists, and intellectuals who searched for usable, at times revolutionary, identities to combat racial oppression in American society and around the world. My conceptualization of the Black Intellectual Tradition is diasporic, radically inclusive, and comprises a wide spectrum of black organizers, activists, politicians, prisoners, and the quotidian.


Instruction Mode