Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance (PITT 0210) — Final Course Syllabus

PITT 0210
1 Credit Required Course
University of Pittsburgh
Fall 2020

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Course Overview

In the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and many others in recent months, activists and scholars in the United States have taken to the streets, the workplace, and classrooms to decry anti-Black racism and call attention to the ongoing devaluation of Black lives in the U.S. and globally. The wave of uprisings that have swept the nation and globe represent part of a long struggle of anti-racist organizing—one that can be traced back hundreds of years. This multidisciplinary course seeks to provide a broad overview of this rich and dynamic history. Built around the expertise of Pitt faculty and Pittsburgh area activists, this course will introduce students to the established tradition of scholarship focused on the Black experience and Black cultural expression. It also seeks to examine the development, spread, and articulations of anti-Black racism in the United States and around the world. The course will grapple with three key areas of inquiry: the roots, ideology, and resistance to anti-Black racism. Each unit will be focused through readings, lectures and discussions. First, we will explore the roots of anti-Black racism in the United States, drawing connections to African history, the history of slavery, and the Transatlantic Slave trade. Second, the course will grapple with the ideology of anti-Black racism—the ideas that undergird the creation of racial hierarchies, often shaped by pseudo-science and eugenics. Third, the course will highlight the theme of resistance, paying close attention to the range of political strategies and tactics Black activists and their allies have employed in their effort to obtain a more just and equal society here and internationally. Significantly, the course employs an intersectional analysis—taking into account how race is interwoven into other categories including ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality and nationality. We will use a variety of scholarly disciplines spanning the Humanities, Social Sciences, the Arts, Science and Public Health to explore these themes to help students understand how anti-Black racism functions in U.S. society.

Course Objectives and Outcomes

Objectives

After meaningfully engaging with the content in this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe and explain key ideas and concepts concerning the social construction of race and ethnicity
  2. Identify historical and current structures of power, privilege, and inequality that are rooted in Anti-Black racism
  3. Explain how anti-Black racism acts individually, interpersonally, institutionally, and structurally
  4. Identify and describe the contribution of scholars and experts on anti-Black racism at Pitt and in the larger community
  5. Articulate and critically examine personal beliefs and opinions about race, antiracism and antiblackness and describe the weight these beliefs and opinions carry.
  6. Explain how institutions and policies contribute to and enable Anti-Black racism
  7. Identify some of the many existing organizations that provide anti-racism programming and opportunities

Outcomes

  1. Students will leave the course with introductory knowledge to participate more knowledgably in discussions of race, inequality, and other aspects of social difference
  2. Students will leave the course with an introduction to the Black radical tradition, resistance to Anti-Black racism, and strategies to be anti-racist in everyday life

We hope that this course will encourage students to continue taking other courses related to anti-Black racism and the Black experience. The course should also provide pathways for students interested in transforming their own role in confronting anti-Black racism.

Grading: This course is graded on an S/NC basis. There will be brief questions that students will have to answer on canvas after each lecture. These questions are designed to check for comprehension of the lecture and/or readings. There will also be synchronous activities available, especially during Black Study Week, organized by the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP) (see Week Seven). Students will be required to attend at least one synchronous activity during Black Study Week. All synchronous activities will be listed on Canvas. There will also be a short pre- and post-assessment survey that all students will be required to complete as well.

Credit: This course is a 1 credit course.

Readings: All required readings will be available through Canvas.

Course Schedule

  • Week One: (8/19) Introduction to Course; Race as a construct/concept/Critical race theory
  • Week Two: (8/24) Pre-colonial African History and Misconceptions of Africa
  • Week Three: (8/31) Era of Enslavement
  • Week Four: (09/07) Reconstruction & Post-reconstruction violence and migration
  • Week Five: (09/14) COINTELPRO - Pittsburgh
  • Week Six: (09/21) Contemporary Black liberation movements
  • Week Seven: (09/28) Black Study Week (CAAPP)
  • Week Eight: (10/05) Health Disparities
  • Week Nine: (10/12) Black Internationalism and Anti-racism
  • Week Ten: (10/19) Racial capitalism/disinvestment in Black communities/housing
  • Week Eleven: (10/26) Formal Schooling and Anti-Blackness
  • Week Twelve: (11/2) Migration, Globalization, and Anti-Black Racism
  • Week Thirteen: (11/9) How to be Anti-Racist
  • Week Fourteen: (11/16) Student Choice (choose one):
    • Afro-Futurism
    • Heritage as Hate: Racism and Sporting Traditions
    • Race and Technology

Detailed Course Schedule

Click orange arrow to access more information about each week.

Week One: An Introduction to Critical Theories on Race and Anti-Blackness in Everyday Life

What is racial domination and how does it affect what and how we know?

The objective of this module is to gain a sociological and cultural understanding of the meaning of race, ethnicity and anti-blackness. Race is not a biological, it is a social convention, a “social fact” (a fact by social agreement). This module will explore the social construction of race, ethnicity and antiblackness in everyday life in the United States. This module will examine how theories of race is related to economic, political, and cultural forces in the United States and how racial inequality remains hidden in everyday life.

Lecturer: Dr. Waverly Duck, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh

Required Reading(s):

  • Desmond, Matthew, and Mustafa Emirbayer. "What is racial domination?" Du Bois Review 6, no. 2 (2009): 335.

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media:

  • Anderson, Elijah. "The White Space." Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 1, no. 1 (2015): 10-21.
  • Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. "The linguistics of color-blind racism: How to talk nasty about blacks without sounding “racist”." Critical Sociology 28, no. 1-2 (2002): 41-64.
  • Feagin, Joe R. "The continuing significance of race: Antiblack discrimination in public places." American Sociological Review (1991): 101-116.
  • Winant, Howard. "Race and race theory." Annual review of sociology 26, no. 1 (2000): 169-185.
  • Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant. "Racial formations." Race, class, and gender in the United States 6 (2004): 13-22.

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • SOC 0207 Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
  • SOC 0433 Social Inequality
  • SOC 0455 Diversity of America
  • SOC 0460 Race and Ethnicity
  • SOC 1308 Inequality and Society
  • SOC 1319 Immigration
  • SOC 1337 Identity Politics
  • SOC 2313 Race and the City
  • AFRCNA 0031 Introduction to Africana Studies
  • AFRCNA 0684 Race, Clas, Ethnicity: Caribbean Experience
  • AFRCNA 1535 Dimensions of Racism
  • PS 1292 Race, Gender, Politics (Provins)
  • PS 1240   Politics of Diversity (Kanthak)
  • PS 1607 American Political Thoughts (Goodhart)
  • ENGCMP 0570 Topics in Black Rhetoric and Public Writing
  • ENGCMP 1270 Projects in Black Rhetoric
  • ANTH 1719 Anthropology of Race and Science
  • ANTH 1723 Black Masculinity
  • RELGST 1417 / PHIL 1350 Philosophy of Religion & Race

Week Two: Pre-colonial African History and Misconceptions of Africa

How can we challenge negative media images of Africa and Africans with knowledge about African civilizations?

This lecture intends to provide a brief history of Africa in the pre-colonial era. The four major themes that serve as the guidelines in the discussion are: Africa in World Perspective, which deals with the various cultural judgments, through media, that have come to globally define the continent and its people; Themes of Early African Civilization, which deals with the growth of African civilization that led to the emergence of early food-production, social and political systems, trade, commerce and urbanization, scientific and technological innovation, and religion and cultural traditions; Emergence and Growth of African Societies, which deals with the emergence of early linguistic families and societies, their migration and settlements across the entire continent, and the early stages of socio-political (centralization and decentralization) developments, which eventually led to state formation; Early African Contact with the World, which deals with Africa’s early contacts and cross-cultural exchange with other world nations in Asia and Europe. It concludes with Africa’s final contact with the West, which eventually interrupted Africa’s gradual development, as a result of its integration into the then new ‘global capitalist economic system.’

Lecturer: Dr. Eric Beeko, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Africana Studies, University of Pittsburgh

Required Reading(s): None

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media:
(All video links will be posted on Courseweb)

  • “Africa Before 1500 C.E.” – YouTube Video
  • “African Empires in the Medieval Era” – YouTube Video
  • “African History: Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan” – YouTube Video
  • “The Greatest West African Kingdoms” – YouTube Video
  • “The Legend of Timbuktu” – YouTube Video
  • “Mapungubwe – Secrets of a Sacred Hill” – YouTube

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • AFRCNA 0127 Introduction to Africa
  • AFRCNA 0586 Early African Civilizations
  • AFRCNA 1021 History of the African Diaspora
  • AFRCNA 1310 Cultures of Africa
  • HIST 0795/AFRCNA 0318 History of Africa before 1800
Week Three: Slavery and Emancipation

How did slavery shape the development of the United States?

This lecture covers the history of slavery in what is now the United States, beginning with the Atlantic Slave Trade and ending with the Civil War. In addition to a broad historical overview, the class will address topics such as the development of racism, enslaved peoples’ daily experiences, resistance and rebellion, and the codification of slavery in the law.

Lecturer: Dr. Alexandra Finley, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Pittsburgh

Required Reading(s):

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media:

  • The 1619 Project: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html
  • Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone
  • Daina Ramey Berry, The Price for their Pound of Flesh: the Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation
  • Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market
  • Jennifer Morgan, Laboring Women: Gender and Reproduction in New World Slavery
  • Calvin Schermerhorn, Unrequited Toil: A History of United States Slavery
  • Manisha Sinha, The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition  
  • Deborah Gray White, Arn’t I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • HIST 0670/AFRCNA 0629: Afro American History 1
  • HIST 1620: History of the South to 1880s
  • HIST 1628: The Black West
  • HIST 1720/AFRCNA 1720 West Africa in the Era of the Slave Trade
  • AFRCNA 0031 Introduction to Africana Studies
  • AFRCNA 0385 Caribbean History
  • AFRCNA 1021 History of the African Diaspora
  • AFRCNA 1039 History of Caribbean Slavery
Week Four: Who Belongs in the Reconstructed United States?

How did the Reconstruction Amendments and post-Civil War violence present two vastly different possibilities for the future of the United States?

This lecture will provide an overview of the Reconstruction Amendments and the agenda of Radical Republicans. It will then demonstrate that the possibility of an equitable United States was quashed by white racial violence and political oppression that drove a significant number of African Americans from the South to the West and North.

Lecturer: Dr. Alaina Roberts, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Univ. of Pittsburgh (confirmed)

Required Reading(s):

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media: None

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • HIST 0670/AFRCNA 0629: Afro American History 1
  • HIST 067 /AFRCNA 0630: Afro American History 2
  • HIST 1620: History of the South to 1880s
  • HIST 1628: The Black West
  • AFRCNA 0031 Introduction to Africana Studies
  • AFRCNA 1021 History of the African Diaspora
Week Five: COINTELPRO - Pittsburgh

What are the long-term effects of policings strategic war against the Black Diaspora in Pittsburgh?

This week’s lecture explores the historic phenomena of anti-Black police violence in America. Using documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we will examine the U. S. governments COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program) in the 1960’s, targeting the Black diaspora in Pittsburgh. We will discuss the violent police tactics used to identify, track, harass, discredit, infiltrate, destabilize, and destroy Pittsburgh’s revolutionary Black activists, identified as enemies of the State.

Lecturer: Dr. Tony Gaskew, Professor of Criminal Justice, Faculty Affiliate in Africana Studies, and Director of the Criminal Justice Program, University of Pittsburgh, Bradford

Required Reading(s):

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media:

  • Racial Matters: The FBI's Secret File on Black America, 1960-1972 by Kenneth O'Reilly
  • COINTELPRO : The FBI's Secret War on Political Freedom by Nelson Blackstock
  • Spying on America: The FBI's Domestic Counterintelligence Program by James Kirkpatrick Davis
     

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • ADMJ 0205 Police and Society: Race, Crime, and Justice
Week Six: Contemporary Black Liberation Movements

How are activists today challenging anti-Black racism? What are the unique challenges of organizing for change in the current political climate?

This session, moderated by Pitt Africana studies and political science student Oluchi Okafor, will feature a conversation between Bree Newsome Bass and Darnell Moore, two prominent activists in the Black Lives Matter movement. They will discuss some of the tactics and strategies that artists and activists use in the intersectional resistance to anti-Black racism on the local, national, and international levels.

Lecturers: Darnell Moore, author of No Ashes in This Fire & Bree Newsome-Bass (conversation moderated by Oluchi Okafor)

Required Reading(s):

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media:

Week Seven: Black Arts-Black Study Week (Center for African American Poetry and Poetics)

What role can Black Arts play in resistance to racism and the quest for liberation?

The Center for African American Poetry and Poetics’ (CAAPP) week-long intensive, “Collective Protest and Rebellion,” features poet Harryette Mullen, scholar Emily Greenwood, writer/scholar Saidiya Hartman, poet/essayist/novelist Dionne Brand, poet/performer/composer JJJJJerome Ellis, poet/scholar Erica Hunt, photographer Zun Lee, filmmakers Charles Burnett and Julie Dash, poet Aracelis Girmay, interdisciplinary theater artist Daniel Alexander Jones­, and poet Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon as a way to think in creativity toward collective agency and social change. With urgency, we look toward the 2020/2021 academic year as an opportunity to, in Fred Moten’s sense of the word, “study” together, what he sometimes calls talking and walking around with other people, working, dancing, suffering, some irreducible convergence of all three, held under the name of speculative practice. This week is an opportunity to engage in black study in community during this time of upheaval and repair. It is here that we seek innovative discovery in the act of creating as productive of new knowledges that help change the world.

Lecturer: There will be a set of events throughout the week. You should plan to view/attend at least one event. Please see the CAAPP website for the list of events: https://www.caapp.pitt.edu/events/collective-protest-rebellion-black-study-intensive. You can attend live on Crowdcast (registration available on September 1st), live on CAAPP's Facebook Live page, or immediately after on Crowdcast or our YouTube channel soon thereafter.

Required Reading(s): None

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media: See CAAPP website.

Week Eight: Health Disparities in Black Communities

How does structural racism impact health and health care?

This lecture explores the impact of structural racism on health inequities, especially as they impact Black communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has made many of these disparities very visible. This lecture will examine why such disparities exist and what can be done to make health status and health care more equitable.

Lecturer: Dr. Tiffany Gary-Webb, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Associate Director, Center for Health Equity, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh

Required Reading(s): None

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media: None

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • AFRCNA 1510 Health in the African Diaspora
  • AFRCNA 1710 African American Health Issues
  • HIST 1725 Disease and Health in Modern Africa
Week Nine: Black Internationalism and Anti-racism

How have Black people in the United States collaborated with other people of color across the globe to challenge anti-Black racism, and how were these collaborations shaped by women’s political work?

The lecture will provide you with a broad overview of the transnational political networks and solidarities between people of African descent in the United States and other people of color across the globe. It will center the ideas and activism of Black Americans--especially Black women—and will highlight their global visions of freedom and efforts to link national concerns to global ones. Throughout the lecture, you will be asked to consider how political movements for rights and equality in the United States—including the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter—have shaped and have been shaped by global developments. The lecture will also grapple with some of complexities and challenges associated with transnational political organizing.

Lecturer: Dr. Keisha N. Blain, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Pittsburgh

Required Reading(s):

  • Keisha N. Blain, “Civil Rights International: The Fight Against Racism Has Always Been Global,” Foreign Affairs, vol. 99, no. 5, September/October 2020.
  • Keisha N. Blain, “John Lewis’ Fight for Equality Was Never Limited to Just the United States,” Time, July 21, 2020. [https://time.com/5869640/john-lewis-human-rights/]
  • John Q. Adams, “End Autocracy of Color,” The Appeal (1919)Amy Jacques Garvey, “The Language of Freedom” (1945)
  • P.L. Pratis, “Chinese Are Question Mark in Common Struggle of Colored Peoples of the World,” The Pittsburgh Courier, 21 April 1945.
  • Website: “Digitizing Diaspora”: http://digitizingdiaspora.com/
     

Recommended Readings:

  • Carol Anderson, Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960 (2014)
  • Keisha N. Blain, Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (2018)
  • Erik S. McDuffie, Sojourning for Freedom:  Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism (2011)
  • Yuichiro Onishi, Transpacific Antiracism: Afro-Asian Solidarity in 20th Century Black America, Japan, and Okinawa (2013)
     

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • HIST 1000-1200 Black Women’s Intellectual History
  • HIST 1001 The Civil Rights Movement
  • HIST 663/AFRCNA 0536 20th century African American Women’s History
  • AFRCNA 1309 Women of Africa and the African Diaspora
Week Ten: U.S. Racist Housing Policy

How has systemic racism impacted U.S. housing policy?

This lecture will review the history of U.S. housing policy and how it created forced segregation and forced displacement. We will examine gentrification and displacement using Pittsburgh examples and explore policy proposals for creating a more just housing system.

Lecturer: Mr. Carl Redwood, Chairperson, Hill District Consensus Group; Adjunct, School of Social Work

Required Reading(s):

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media:

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • SOC 0433 Social Inequality
  • SOC 0460 Race and Ethnicity
  • SOC 1308 Inequality and Society
  • SOC 2313 Race and the City
  • AFRCNA 0031 Introduction to Africana Studies
Week Eleven: Formal Schooling and Anti-Blackness

How has formal schooling acted as both a conduit for anti-Blackness and a site of Black radical intervention?

This lecture will provide you with an understanding of formal schooling as one of the most efficient conduits for delivering and recreating anti-Blackness. Specific examples from the initial creation of universities to current policies and practices in K-12 and higher education will be provided. Throughout the lecture, you will be asked to consider how your schooling experiences have taught and mistaught you about the origins of this nation and who is worthy of being treated as fully human.

Lecturer: Dr. Leigh Patel, Professor, Department of Educational Foundations, Organizations, and Policy, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh (confirmed)

Required Reading(s):

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media:

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • EDUC 2100: Education and Society
Week Twelve: Migration, Globalization, and Anti-Black Racism

How does anti-Black racism impact migration and globalization?

This lecture examines how people of African origin have become entangled in processes of globalization and migration from the early capitalist period, to the formation of the modern nation-states and the contemporary era. It allows students to understand how European imperial projects continue to affect the mobility and life experiences of people of African origin.

Lecturer: Dr. Felix Germain, Associate Professor, Department of Africana Studies, University of Pittsburgh

Required Reading(s):

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media:

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • AFRCNA 0031 Introduction to Africana Studies
  • AFRCNA 0628/HIST 0502 Afro-Latin America
  • AFRCNA 1201: Global Diasporas: Contemporary African and Caribbean Migration
  • AFRCNA 1250: Black Europe
  • SOC 1319: Immigration
Week Thirteen: How to be Anti-racist

What can you do to avoid bias and be anti-racist in your everyday life?

In this lecture you learn about implicit bias, how we develop our biases, and how the biases manifest themselves. We will review microaggressions and discuss their impact on the target. We will also consider ways to mitigate the impact of biases. We will also discuss what is means to be anti-racist and strategies you can use to be anti-racist in your everyday life.

Lecturer: Mrs. Cheryl Ruffin, Institutional Equity Manager, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, University of Pittsburgh

Required Reading(s): None

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media:

  • How to be an Anti-racist by Ibram X. Kendi
     

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • SOC 0207 Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
  • SOC 0433 Social Inequality
  • SOC 0455 Diversity of America
  • SOC 0460 Race and Ethnicity
  • SOC 1308 Inequality and Society
  • AFRCNA 1535 Dimensions of Racism
Week Fourteen: OPTION 1: Afro-Futurism

How does Afrofuturism reimagine the Black experience while combating anti-Blackness?

This lecture will explain the origins of Afrofuturism and its multiple forms (i.e. visual arts, music, literature, film, Afropunk). Using different media, this lecture will emphasize the empowering and liberatory aspects of the concept for Black identity as well as discuss how it has been employed to counter anti-Black racism.

Lecturer: Dr. Kaniqua Robinson, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Africana Studies, University of Pittsburgh

Required Reading(s):

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media:

Books:

  • Anderson, Ricardo and Charles E. Jones. Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness. Lexington Books.
  • Butler, Octavia. 1979. Kindred. Doubleday.
  • Lavender, II, Isiah. 2019. Afrofuturism Rising: The Literary Prehistory of a Movement. Ohio  State University Press.
  • Womack, Ytosha L. 2013. Afrofuturism: The World of Black-Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture. Lawrence Hill Books.


Musicians/Movies:

  • Janelle Monae: Dirty Computer (Musical Artist)
  • George Clinton/Funkadelic (Musical Group)
  • Sun Ra (Musician)
  • Rihanna (Musical Artist)
  • See You Yesterday
  • Get Out
  • Tales from the Hood
  • Beloved
  • Sankofa
  • Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse
     

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • MUSIC 1397: Music and Race: Afrofuturism
Week Fourteen: OPTION 2: Heritage as Hate: Racism and Sporting Traditions

Racism is often discussed at institutionalized and embedded in everyday life. How can we examine the social components of life that are considered fun, entertaining, leisure as deeply affected by racism and white supremacy?

This lecture explores ritual and tradition as forms of institutionalized racism framed within the context of heritage and school sports traditions. Ritual symbols and ritual practices that teach anti-Black and pro-White sentiment become learned and passed on through subtle and unmarked practices. School fight songs and sporting traditions are part of the ongoing interconnectedness of race and sport in American college life.

Lecturer: Dr. Gabby Yearwood, Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh

Required Reading(s):

  • Yearwood, Gabby MH. "Heritage as hate: racism and sporting traditions." Leisure Studies 37, no. 6 (2018): 677-691.

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media: None

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • AFRCNA 0120:  African American Experience in Sports
  • ANTH 0711:  Introduction to the Anthropology of Sport
  • CLASS 32/HIST 1746:  Athletics of the Ancient World
  • ENGCMP 0420:  Writing for the Public: The Public Athlete
  • ENG 0627: The Literature of Sport
  • ENGWRT 1393:  Sports Writing
  • HIST 1083: History of Sport
  • HIST    : History of Women in Sport
  • HIST 1095:  History of Sport and Global Capitalism
  • SOC 0465:  Sociology of Sports
Week Fourteen: OPTION 3: Race and Technology

How does racial bias and structural racism impact technology?

Although the idea that technology is somehow neutral or outside of human qualities is still prevalent, this lecture argues that any conversation about technology HAS to also be a conversation about race. The same systems and histories that you have spent the previous thirteen weeks discussing are the same conditions that produced contemporary computing – as an industry, as a suite of products, as our means of connection and communication, as means of surveillance etc. I will introduce a handful of contemporary scenarios for us to think through the importance of centering race as we seek to understand the ways in which we use, are affected by and understanding technology in our lives and its place in broader United States history.

Lecturer: Dr. Stacy Wood, Assistant Professor, School of Computing and Technology, University of Pittsburgh

Required Reading(s):

  • Noble, Safiya Umoja. "Google search: Hyper-visibility as a means of rendering black women and girls invisible." InVisible Culture 19 (2013).
  • Nopper, Tamara K. "Digital character in “The Scored Society”: FICO, social networks, and competing measurements of creditworthiness." Captivating technology: Race, carceral technoscience, and liberatory imagination in everyday life (2019): 170-187.
     

Recommended Readings and/or Video/Media:

  • Benjamin, Ruha. "Race after technology: Abolitionist tools for the new jim code." Social Forces (2019).
  • Brock Jr, André. Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures. Vol. 9. NYU Press, 2020.
  • Browne, Simone. Dark matters: On the surveillance of blackness. Duke University Press, 2015.
  • McIlwain, Charlton D. Black Software: The Internet and Racial Justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter. Oxford University Press, USA, 2019.
  • Nelson, Alondra. The social life of DNA: Race, reparations, and reconciliation after the genome. Beacon Press, 2016.
  • Noble, Safiya Umoja. Algorithms of oppression: How search engines reinforce racism. NYU Press, 2018.
  • Richardson, Allissa V. "Bearing witness while black: Theorizing African American mobile journalism after Ferguson." Digital Journalism 5, no. 6 (2017): 673-698.
     

Want to learn more? List of courses to consider:

  • AFRCNA 1330 Science and Technology