Women of Color Feminism and Racial Capitalism
This course will explore the intellectual, political, and creative outpouring of women of color starting in the late 1970s. It will situate this contribution in historical perspective seeking to understand how it changed the terms of debates among activists, writers, and scholars across the disciplines, reshaping received understandings of racism, sexism, homophobia and class formation and their intersections. The course will explore women of color feminism, especially black women’s contributions, in order to limn an emergent critique of racial capitalism (the manner in which capitalist expansion has pursued racial directions) that is also attentive to gender and sexuality. Rather than assuming the field of inquiry as unified, or as comprising a predictable canon, the course will seek to understand the complex and sometimes contentious tendencies within women of color feminism, as well as the variety of formal and stylistic experiments by and about women of color that might be usefully included within the parameters of “woman of color feminism.” To this end, readings will include fiction and poetry as well as more recognizable theoretical prose. Some background in feminist theory and/or the history of feminism is useful, but not required.