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Race and Resistance Syllabus

This is a provisional syllabus for my undergraduate course at The New School, Spring 2017.

Overview of substantive topics

Part I: Roots
⊗    Situating race
⊗    What is race?
⊗    Race and experience
⊗    Race and state
⊗    Race and Europeanness
⊗    Race, settler colonialism, and Indigenous resistance
⊗    Slavery
⊗    Whiteness
⊗    Race, gender and sexuality

Part II: Continuities
⊗    Antiblackness
⊗    Race, criminalisation and incarceration
⊗    The return of antisemitism?
⊗    Islamophobia, securitisation and ‘the war on terror’
⊗    Borders and migrations

Part III: Urgencies
⊗    Are we postrace yet?
⊗    Re-emerging fascisms
⊗    Race, digital technologies and social media.
Weekly schedule

[WEEK 1]

Session 1 – 23/1: Introductions

Required reading:

Richard Pithouse. 2016. ‘Being Human After 1492’. The Con, 16 November 2016.


Session 2 – 25/1: Situating race

In-class viewing ‘Racism: A history – Part I’

Background reading:

Robin Blackburn. 2013.’ Chapter 1: The Spanish Conquest’, in The American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and the West’. London: Verso.

David Theo Goldberg. 2002. ‘Chapter 4: Racial Rule’ The Racial State. London: Wiley.

Alana Lentin. 2008. ‘Chapter 1: Racism, History and Politics’, Racism: A Beginner’s Guide. Oxford: OneWorld Publications.

[WEEK 2]

Session 3 – 30/1: What is race? (1)

Required reading:

Du Bois. W.E.B. 1940. ‘The Concept of Race, in Dusk of Dawn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fields, Karen E. and Fields, Barbara J. 2012. ‘Chapter 1: From Racism to Race’, Racecraft. The Soul of Inequality in American Life. London: Verso.

Paul Gilroy. 1998. ‘Race Ends Here’, Ethnic and Racial Studies  21(5):

Further reading:

Alana Lentin. 2015. ‘What Does Race Do?’, Ethnic and Racial Studies  38(8): 1401-1406.

Michael Yudell. 2014. ‘Biology and the Problem of the Color Line’, in Race Unmasked: Biology and Race in the Twentieth Century. NY: Columbia University Press.

Lisa Gannett. 2001. ‘Racism and Human Genome Diversity Research: The Ethical Limits of “Population Thinking”’, Philosophy of Science 68(3), Supplement: Proceedings of the 2000 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. Part I: Contributed Papers:S479-S492.

L. C. Dunn, N. P. Dubinin, Claude Levi-Strauss Michel Leiris, Otto Klineberg, Andre Beteille E. U. Essien-Udom, Go Gien Tjwan, John Rex and Max Gluckman (Edited and with an introduction by Leo Kuper) 1975. Race, Science and Society. Paris: Unesco Press.

Harrison, Faye. V. 1995. ‘The Persistent Power of “Race” in the Cultural and Political Economy of Racism’. Annual Review of Anthropology 24: 47-74.

Session 4 – 1/2: What is race? (2)

In-class viewing, Stuart Hall: Race – A Floating Signifier.

Background reading:

Claire Alexander. 2009.  ‘Introduction: Stuart Hall and Race’, Cultural Studies 23(4): 457-482.

[Also the rest of the special issue on Stuart Hall in Cultural Studies 23(4), June 2009.]

[WEEK 3]

Session 5 – 3/2: Race and state 2 (Racism and institutions)

In-class viewing: Excerpts from The Black Power Mix-Tape.

Required reading:

David Theo Goldberg. 2002. ‘Chapter 5: Racial States’, The Racial State. London: Wiley.

Kwame Ture and Charles Hamilton. 1992 [1967]. ‘Chapter 1: White Power – the Colonial Situation’, Black Power: Politics of Liberation in America.

Further reading:

Etienne Balibar. 1991. ‘Racism and Nationalism’, in Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein, Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities. London: Verso: 37-67.

Sara Ahmed. 2012. ‘Chapter 1: Institutional Life’, On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life. Durham: Duke University Press.

Brady Thomas Heiner. 2007. ‘Foucault and the Black Panthers’, City 11(3).

Bourne, Jenny. 2001. ‘The Life and Times of Institutional Racism’. Race and Class 43, no. 2: 7-21.

Sivanandan, A. 1976. ‘Race, class and the state: The black experience in Britain’. Race and Class 17(4).

Sara Ahmed. 2016. ‘Progressive racism’.

[WEEK 4]

Session 6 – 6/2: On Blackness: Frantz Fanon 1

Required reading:

Frantz Fanon. 1952 [2008] Black Skin, White Masks. London: Pluto Press.

Session 7 – 8/2: On Blackness: Frantz Fanon 2

In-class viewing: Black Skin, White Masks (Isaac Julien documentary)

Further reading for both sessions:

Nigel Gibson. ‘Why Frantz Fanon Still Matters: Failure & Reciprocity’, The Critique June 14, 2016.

Richard Pithouse. 2015. ‘Why Fanon continues to resonate more than half a century after Algeria’s independence’, The Conversation July 5 2015.
The Frantz Fanon blog.

‘On Frantz Fanon: An Interview With Lewis R. Gordon’, Public Books July 20 2016.

[WEEK 5]

Session 8 – 13/2: The condition of slavery

Required reading:

Orlando Patterson. 1982. ‘Introduction – The Constituent Elements of Slavery’ and ‘Chapter 7 – The Condition of Slavery’, in Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative study. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Additional reading:

Saidiya Hartmann. 2007. Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Robin Blackburn. 2013. The American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and the West’. London: Verso.

Session 9 – 15/2: ‘In the Wake’ of Slavery

Christina Sharpe. 2016. ‘Chapter 1: The Wake’, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being’. Durham: Duke UP.

W.E.B. Du Bois. 1903. ‘Of the Dawn of Freedom’, in The Souls of Black Folk. Oxford UP.

Additional reading:

Michelle Alexander. 2012. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New Press.

Claudia Rankine. 2014. Citizen. An American Lyric”. Graywolf.

[WEEK 6]

20/2: No class, President’s Day Holiday

Session 10 – Engendering race

Required reading:

Patricia Hill-Collins and Sirma Bilge. 2015. ‘What Is Intersectionality?, in Intersectionality. London:Wiley.

Sherene Razack. 2016. ‘Gendering Disposability’, Canadian Journal of Women & the Law. 2016, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p285-307. 23p.

Further reading:

Patricia Hill-Collins. 1986. ‘Learning from the Outsider Within: The sociological significance of Black feminist thought’, Social Problems 33(6): 14-31.

Audre Lorde. ‘The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House’

bell hooks. 1995. Killing rage, ending racism. London: Penguin.

Gargi Bhattarchyya, John Gabriel and Charles Small. 2002. Chapter 4: ‘Sexualising racism’, in Race and Power: Global Racism in the Twenty-First Century. London: Routledge.

Patricia Hill Collins, ‘Black Feminist Thought’, in Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader, ed. Les Back and John Solomos. London: Routledge: 404-420.

Sander L. Gilman. 1985. ‘Black Bodies. White Bodies. Toward an Iconography of Female Sexuality in late Nineteenth – Century Art, Medicine and Literature’, Critical Inquiry 12.

Jasbir Puar. 2011. ‘“I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess”: Intersectionality, assemblage, and affective politics’, EIPCP Transversal Inventions. Accessed 6 June 2016.

Weinbaum, Alys Eve. 2004. Wayward Reproductions: Genealogies of Race and Nation in Transatlantic Modern Thought. Durham: Duke University Press.

Weheliye, Alexander. 2014. Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human. Durham: Duke University Press.

Evening 22/2: Film Screening (optional)
Generation Revolution [venue to be confirmed]

[WEEK 7]

Session 11 – 27/2: Visit and guided tour of the National Museum of the American Indian in New York

Please meet at the Museum: 1 Bowling Green, New York, NY 10004, USA.

Please bring a donation of between $7-10 per student (to be confirmed).

Session 12 – 1/3: Race, settler colonialism and Indigenous Resistance 1 (First Peoples of the US)

Required reading:

Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne. 2014. “Introduction” and “‘Indian Country’” in An Indigenous People’s History of the United States. New York: Beacon Press

Further reading for both sessions:

Readings from The Standing Rock Syllabus:

[Photo report]

[WEEK 8]

Session 13 – 6/3: Race, settler colonialism and Indigenous Resistance 3 (Aboriginal Australia)

Required reading:

Patrick Wolfe. 2016. ‘Whole and In-part: The racialization of Indigenous People in Australia’, Traces of Race: Elementary Structures of Race. London: Verso.

Luke Pearson. ‘White Australia Still Has A Black History’ Indigenous X.

Evelyn Araluen Corr. 2014. ‘Indigenous Legacies’, Honi Soit.

Further reading:

Aileen Moreton-Robinson. 2015. The White Possessive: Property, Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty. University of Minnesota Press.

Larissa Behrendt. 2009. ‘Home: The Importance of Place to the Dispossessed’, South Atlantic Quarterly 108(1).

Lorenzo Veracini . 2007. ‘Historylessness: Australia as a settler colonial collective’, Postcolonial Studies 10(3).

Indigenous X.

New Matilda Aboriginal Affairs

Session 14 – 8/3: Race, land and water

Project session 1

[WEEK 9]

Session 15 – 13/3: Whiteness

Required reading:

Cheryl Harris. 1993. ‘Parts I & II: Whiteness as Property’, Harvard Law Review 106(8): 1707-1791.

W.E.B. Du Bois. 1920. ‘The Souls of White Folk’, in The Social Theory of W.E.B. Du Bois. (ed. P. Zuckerman]. Sage.

Further reading:

Richard Dyer. 1997. White. Psychology Press.

Aileen Moreton Robinson. 2015. ‘Imagining the Good Indigenous Citizen: Race War and the Pathology of White Sovereignty’, in The White Possessive: Property, Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty. University of Minnesota Press.

Session 16 – 15/3: Challenging whiteness

Project session 2

In this session we will collect and critically analyse materials that challenge structures of whiteness in the societies of which we are aware. We will interrogate concepts such as white privilege, white supremacy, white nationalism and race traitor. We will discuss the merits of organising around challenging white privilege and what this means in the present conjuncture.


Shroyer, Amelia. 2016. ‘White Fragility Is Racial Violence’, The Huffington Post.

[WEEK 10]
20/3 – 26/3: Spring Break


[WEEK 11]

Session 17 – 27/3: Race, criminalisation and incarceration 1

In-class viewing: The 13th  by Ava DuVernay

Session 18 – 29/3: Race, criminalisation and incarceration 2 (The need for Black Lives Matter)

Required reading:

Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherington. 206. ‘Introduction: Policing the Planet’, in Policing the Planet: Why the policing crisis led to Black Lives Matter. London: Verso.

Robin D.G. Kelley. 2016. ‘Thug Nation: On State Violence and Disposability’, in Policing the Planet: Why the policing crisis led to Black Lives Matter. London: Verso.

The Black Lives Matter syllabus (general resource):

[WEEK 12]

Session 19 – 3/4: Race, criminalisation and incarceration 3 (global echoes)

Required reading:

Martin McKenzie-Murray. 2016. ‘“There was political support for this…”: Inside the horrors of Don Dale’, The Saturday Paper, July 30 2016.

Amy McQuire. 2016. ‘Black Women, And A Tale Of Two Commissions’, New Matilda April 15 2016.

Loic Wacquant. 2008. ‘The Militarization of Urban Marginality: Lessons from the Brazilian Metropolis’, International Political Sociology 2: 56–74.

Further readings for all 3 sessions:

Michelle Alexander. 2012. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New Press.

Angela Davis. 2003. Are Prisons Obsolete? 7 Stories Press.

Paul Gilroy. 1987. ‘Chapter 3 ‘Lesser breeds without the law’, in ‘There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack’: The cultural politics of race and nation. London: Unwin Hyman.

Christian Parenti. 2000. Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis. London: Verso.

Elena Marchetti. 2006. ‘The Deep Colonizing Practices of the Australian Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody’, Journal of Law and Society 33(3): 451-474.

Julia Sudbury. 2000. ‘Transatlantic visions: resisting the globalization of mass incarceration’ Social Justice 27(3): 133–149.

Sherene Razack. 2009. ‘Timely Deaths: Medicalizing the Deaths of Aboriginal People in Police Custody’, University of Toronto Quarterly 78(2): 815-820.

Stuart Hall. 1977. Policing the crisis: Mugging, the state, and law and order. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Session 20 – 5/4: Borders, detention and deportability

Required reading:

Behrouz Boochani (2016) ‘Life on Manus: island of the damned’, The Saturday Paper, February 27 2016.

Nicholas de Genova. 2002. ‘Migrant Illegality and Deportability in Everyday Life’, Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 31:419–47.

Reece Jones. 2016. ‘Chapter 1: The European Union: The World’s Deadliest Border’, in Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move. London: Verso.

[WEEK 13]

Session 21 – 10/4: Borders, detention and deportability (taking action)

Harsha Walia and Andrea Smith. 2013. ‘Cartography of No One Is Illegal’, in Undoing Border Imperialism. AK Press.

Mitropoulos, Angela and Kiem, Matthew. 2015. ‘Cross-Border Operations,’ The New Inquiry, November 18 2015.
Further reading:

Daniel Trilling (2015) ‘What to do with the people who do make it across?’, London Review of Books Vol. 37(18).

Joe Rigby and Raphael Schlembach (2013) ‘Impossible protest: noborders in Calais’, Citizenship Studies, Vol. 17(2): 157-172.

Kim Rygiel (2011) ‘Bordering solidarities: migrant activism and the politics of movement and camps at Calais’, Citizenship Studies, Vol. 15(1): 1-19.

Leona Hameed in conversation with Ramesh Fernandez ‘We want to fully represent ourselves’, Right Now.

Karma Chavez. 2013. Queer Migration Politics: Activist rhetoric and coalitional possibilities. Chapaign: University of Illinois Press.

Session 21 – 12/4: Migration, class and austerity

In-class viewing ‘The Unbearable Whiteness of Brexit – Race, class & the EU Referendum on the streets of Barking.’ OMFG Sarkar.

Required reading:

Nadine El-Enany. 2016. ‘Brexit as Nostalgia for Empire’, Critical Legal Thinking 19 June 2016.

Akwugo Emejulu and Leah Bassel (2015) ‘Minority women, austerity and activism’, Race and Class vol. 57(2): 86-95.

Further reading:

Gavan Titley (2016) ‘Brexit Britain: You’ve been played: The roots of racist resentment’, Huck  24 June 2016.

Kirsten Forkert. 2016. ‘Austerity nostalgia, racism and xenophobia’, OpenDemocracy.

Alana Lentin. 2016. ‘Austerity and war against multiculturalism’ OpenDemocracy.

Gurminder Bhambra. 2016. ‘VIEWPOINT: Brexit, Class and British ‘National’ Identity’, Discover Society.

Akwugo Emejulu. 2016. ‘On the Hideous Whiteness Of Brexit: “Let us be honest about our past and our present if we truly seek to dismantle white supremacy”’, Verso Blog.

[WEEK 14]

Session 22 – 17/4: Islamophobia

Required reading:

Arun Kundnani. 2014. ‘An Ideal Enemy’, The Muslims are Coming. London: Verso.

Yassir Morsi. 2017. Chapter 1, Radical Skin, Moderate Masks. London: Rowman and Littlefield International.

Further reading:

Ramon Grosfoguel and Gema Martin-Munoz. 2010. ‘Introduction: Debating Islamophobia’, Human Architecture 8(2): 1-3.

Yassir Morsi. 2014. ‘Coercing Confessions: Islamophobia and the Demand for Muslim Loyalty’, ABC Religion and Ethics, 1 October 2014.

AbdoolKarim Vakil. 2012. ‘Is the Islam in Islamophobia the Same as the Islam in Anti-Islam? Or, When is it Islamophobia Time?’, in Salman Sayyid and Abdoolkarim Vakil, Thinking through Islamophobia: global perspectives. C Hurst & Co Publishers.

Davidson, Naomi. 2014. Only Muslim: Embodying Islam in Twentieth-Century France. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press.

Liz Fekete. 2012. ‘The Muslim conspiracy theory and the Oslo massacre’, Race & Class 53: 30-47

Session 23 – 19/4: ‘Sexularism’

Required reading:

Mehammed Amadeus Mack. 2016. ‘Introduction: Enter the Sexagone’, in Sexagon: Muslims, France, and the Sexualization of National Culture. Fordham University Press.

Jin Haritaworn. 2015. ‘Love’, in Queer Lovers and Hateful Others. London: Pluto books.

Further reading:

Joan W. Scott. 2007. The Politics of the Veil. Princeton University Press.

Fernando, Mayanthi. 2015. The Republic Unsettled: Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism’. Duke UP.

Lila Abu-Lughod. 2006. ‘The Muslim woman: The power of images and the danger of pity’ Eurozine.

Sarah Bracke. 2012. ‘From “saving women” to “saving gays”: Rescue narratives and their discontinuities’, European Journal of Women’s Studies 19(2).

Liz Fekete, 2006, ‘Enlightened fundamentalism? Immigration, feminism and the Right’, Race & Class 48: 1-22.


[WEEK 14]

Session 25 – 24/4: Racial neoliberalism

Required reading:

Alana Lentin and Gavan Titley. 2011. ‘Chapter 5: Good and Bad Diversities’ in The Crises of Multiculturalism: racism in a neoliberal age. London: Zed Books.

David Theo Goldberg. 2009. ‘Deva-Stating Discriminations (On Racial Americanization)’, in The Threat of Race. London: Wiley.

Further reading:

Dana-Ain Davis. 2007. ‘Narrating the Mute: Racializing and racism in a neoliberal moment’, Souls 9(4): 134-56.

Session 26 – 26/4: Postracialism, ‘identity politics’ and debatability

David Goldberg. 2016. ‘Chapters 1 and 2’, in Are We All Postracial Yet?. London: Wiley.

Gavan Titley. 2016. ‘The Debatability of Racism: Networked participative media and racism’, Rasismista Ja Rajoista. Accessed 8 June 2016.

Alana Lentin. 2016. ‘Racism in  Public  or  Public  Racism:  Doing  antiracism  in  ‘postracial’ times’, Ethnic and Racial Studies 39(1): 33-48.

Further reading:

Robert Stam and Ella Shohat. 2013. ‘Identity Politics and the Right/Left Convergence’. Race in Translation: Culture Wars around the Postcolonial Atlantic. NYU Press.

Song, Miri. 2014. “Challenging a Culture of Racial Equivalence.” British Journal of Sociology 65(1): 107–129.

Arun Kundnani. 2016. ‘Recharging the Batteries of Whiteness: Trump’s New Racial Identity Politics’, Verso Blog.

[WEEK 15]

Session 27 – 1/5: The resurgence of fascism

Required reading:

Jessie Daniels. ‘White Supremacist Movements in a White Supremacist Context’, in White lies : race, class, gender and sexuality in white supremacist discourse

Mondon, A., 2015. The French secular hypocrisy:the extreme right, the Republic and the battle for hegemony. Patterns of Prejudice, 49 (4), pp. 392-413.
Further reading:

Further reading:

Daniel Trilling. 2012.  Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far Right. London: Verso.

Mondon, A., 2016. The irresistible rise of the Front National – Populism and the mainstreaming of the extreme right. In: Report by the PRIO Cyprus Centre. PRIO.

Thomas Meaney and Saskia Schäfer. 2016. ‘The neo-Nazi murder trial revealing Germany’s darkest secrets’, The Guardian Thursday 15 December 2016.

Nadine El-Enany and Sarah Keenan. 2016. ‘Beware the Ivory Dwellings of the Left: Political Purity in the Face of Fascism’ Critical Legal Thinking.

Session 28 – 3/5: Race, digital technology and social media

Required reading:

Jessie Daniels. 2015. “My Brain Database Doesn’t See Skin Color” : Color-Blind Racism in the Technology Industry and in Theorizing the Web’, American Behavioural Science 59(11).

Safiya O. Noble. 2014. ‘Teaching Trayvon: Race, Media, and the Politics of Spectacle’, The Black Scholar 44(1): 12-29.

Further reading:

Jessie Daniels. 2009. Cyber Racism: White Supremacy Online and the New Attack on Civil Rights. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Jessie Daniels. 2013. ‘Race and racism in Internet studies: A review and critique’, New Media & Society 15(5): 695-719.

Lisa Nakamura & P.A. Chow-White. 2012. ‘Introduction: Race and digital technology: Code, the color line and the information societies’, in Nakamura & Chow-White (eds.), Race After the Internet, London: Routledge.

Lisa Nakamura. 2007. Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet. London: University of Minnesota Press.

Sanjay Sharma. 2013. Black Twitter? Racial hashtags, networks and contagion’, New Formations 78: 46-64.

[Week 15]

Session 29 – 8/5: Final Project session 1 [Designing an antiracism toolkit]

Session 30 – 10/5: Final Project session 2 presentations [Designing an antiracism toolkit]


Alana Lentin