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AFRICAAM 42: Clothing and Black Expressive Culture in African American History

This course will examine the long tradition of Black expressive culture through clothing practices. We will specifically focus on the material history of how clothing has been used to refashion and retain Black identities from slavery to the millennial era. More than simply clothing people, Black fashion and dress challenged proscribed race, sex, and gendered notions of self. In the course we will examine scholars whose research on Black sartorial practices centers the narratives of marginalized cultural workers, privileging their voices to illuminate the archive of images and objects. Whether of working-class upbringing, activist and political participants, Black bourgeoisie, or one who aspires to a particular lifestyle, African American clothing culture represents an instance of Black signifyin¿ (a spectrum of Black performance styles and expressive culture) that rewrites everyday sartorial practices to reimagine the Black subject.To do this we will apply concepts emerging out of Black performance theory and visual culture, history, and cultural studies.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5
Instructors: McNair, K. (PI)
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