Course Details

HIST 220: From Blackface to Blaxploitation: Black History and/in Film

This course focuses on the representation of African American history in popular US-American movies. It will introduce students to the field of visual history, using cinema as a primary source. Through films from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the seminar will analyze African American history, (pop-)cultural depictions, and memory culture. We will discuss subjects, narrative arcs, stylistic choices, production design, performative and film industry practices, and historical receptions of movies. The topics include slavery, racial segregation and white supremacy, the Black Freedom Movement, controversies and conflicts in Black communities, Black LGBTQIA+ history, ghettoization and police brutality, Black feminism, and Afrofuturism.
6 credits; HI, IDS; Not offered 2021-2022