Teaching Areas: Black European cultural production & social movements; the Black Mediterranean; colonialism and fascism; black diaspora literature; race, migration, and citizenship; literature and the law; postcolonial theory; trans poetics

UCLA Course Descriptions
Undergraduate Courses

Black and Migration Literature: This course examines the ways that racialized discourses operate in literary cultures across Europe. What do we rely on as the primary sources of evidence about Blackness in Europe? How are current experiences and policies around migration and the European Union affecting the contours of what we mean by “Europe” or its literatures? Topics include issues of nationalism, literary canons immigration, and politics of identity in the European context. Texts may include: Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, Toni Morrison; Adua, Igiaba Scego; Discourse on Colonialism, Aime Césaire; and Migrant Cartographies: New Cultural and Literary Spaces in Post-Colonial Europe, Ponzanesi and Merolla, eds.  (Winter 2020)

Graduate Seminars

Black Europe and Its Discontents: What is the African Diaspora in Europe and what is its contemporary and historical relationship to Africa and the broader diaspora? This course offers readings from black studies, native studies, and postcolonial theory and literature for a comparative discussion about knowledge production within the contours of what comes to be known as “Black Europe,” including how understandings of blackness and indigeneity may shift according to geopolitical, linguistics, transhistorical, and transcultural boundaries. Topics include citizenship, postcolonialism, the Black Mediterranean, decolonization, Fortress Europe, community formation and coalitional politics, ethnic violence, gender and sexuality, and Islamophobia. Texts may include: European Others: Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe, Fatima El-Tayeb; Poetics of Relation, Édouard Glissant; “The Southern Question,” Antonio Gramsci; Mediterranean Racisms, Ian Law and more. (Fall 2019; Winter 2021)

Blackness and Borderscapes: Considers historical and contemporary manifestations of material and ideological borders in relation to blackness and black people. Topics include the perceived borders across the edgeless categories of blackness and indigeneity, and across genders, sexualities, dis/abilities, nations, etc.; the borders reproduced within disciplinary frameworks; and geopolitical borders than yield crises of nationalist identity under the framework of migration. This course engages various black studies methods and black geographies to consider some intersectional issues impacting what it means to undergo the study of black life and thought. Texts may include: Black on Both Sides, C. Riley Snorton, Border as Method, or the Multiplication of Labor, Mezzadra and Neilson; and The Black Shoals, Tiffany Lethabo King. (Winter 2020; Fall 2020)

Black Trans Poetics: This course brings together black critical theory, black trans studies, and contemporary black poetry in order to think through productive sites of engagement in the theorization of blackness and transness. Readings and discussions will pay particular attention to questions of form, language(s), genre, black gender, queerness, and temporality. Students will produce original creative work in response to writing exercises and readings, designed to challenge the writer’s own disciplinary conventions and habits. Texts may include Danez Smith, Don’t Call Us Dead; Cameron Awkward-Rich, Dispatch; M. NourbeSe Phillip, She Tries Her Tongue – Her Silence Softly Breaks; and more. (Fall 2020)

The Black Mediterranean [course description forthcoming, Fall 2021, graduate]
Crisis and Catastrophe [course description forthcoming, Fall 2021, undergraduate]