Fall 2019: Landscapes of Black Education — ENGL 2599-005
Tue. Aug 27, 2019 - Fri. Dec 6, 2019 (15 weeks)
Every Tuesday, Thursday from 3:30 PM to 4:45 PM
This course examines how seemingly ordinary spaces and places around us, “landscapes,” are involved in the struggle to democratize education in the United States. It focuses on African American education. We explore how landscape is implicated in the secret prehistory of Black education under enslavement; the promise of public education during Reconstruction; Booker T. Washington’s accommodation during early Jim Crow; black college campus rebellions of the 1920s; the impact of Brown v. Board of Education, the rise of black studies programs at majority campuses in the 1960s and ‘70s; and the persistence of separate and unequal education in our current moment. We also touch on the experience of other marginalized groups, especially Native Americans and women. For example, women’s college campuses, such as those of Mount Holyoke and Smith College, were designed to discipline women to accept prescribed gender roles at the height of the women’s suffrage movement. There is a mandatory day-long field trip. Some of the materials include excerpts from the following: Frederick Douglass’ 1845 Narrative, Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery, W. E. B. Du Bois’s Black Reconstruction in America,Raymond Wolters’ The New Negro on Campus, James D. Anderson’s The Education of Blacks in the South, and Helen Lefkowitz’s Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women’s Colleges. Films include With All Deliberate Speed and Honey-Coated Arsenic. We’ll learn to read and use historical and contemporary maps, plans, and other design-related materials. Assignments include a midterm, team-led student discussions, a team research project, a critical field trip reflection paper and revision, and a final critical reflection on the team project.