Course Syllabus

TBA – Black Panther, Afrofuturism, and the Ethics of Liberation

Institute for Christian Studies
Toronto School of Theology

Winter 2019

Instructor Information

Instructor:                Gideon Strauss, PhD, Associate Professor

Office Location:        Institute for Christian Studies (at Knox College)

Telephone:                (416) 979-2331

E-mail:                        gstrauss@icscanada.edu

Office Hours:                By appointment

Course Identification

Course Number:        ICS 242506 W19

Course Format:        In-class 

Course Name:                Black Panther, Afrofuturism, and the Ethics of Liberation

Course Location:        Classroom 2, Knox College

Class Times:                Wednesdays, 9:30am – 12:30pm

Prerequisites:                N/A

Course Description

The film Black Panther raises questions about the prospects for and ethics of liberation. What is to be done by the victims of oppression and exploitation? Is armed struggle against oppressors an appropriate (perhaps even necessary) strategy for movements of liberation? Or is nonviolent resistance a better (perhaps the only moral) strategic option for such movements? What should come first, ethically and strategically: liberation or education? On what grounds can people participate in or ally themselves with movements of liberation? These are not only questions for the Wakandans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These and similar questions were vital to the struggle against apartheid in South Africa in the late 20th century, as they were in many other places and times, and are today. This course will consider such questions with reference to their exploration in the 2018 movie, the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, the work of the black American theologian James Cone, the legacies of South African anti-apartheid activists and theorists Steve Biko and Rick Turner (both murdered by the apartheid state), and contemporary Afrofuturism.

Course Resources

Required Course Texts/Bibliography

The Bible: Isaiah 58, 59, and 60; Revelation 20 and 21

- . “Black Panther Conversation - 20 March @ Common Ground Church Rondebosch, Cape Town”. RZIM South Africa, April 2, 2018. Video. (Source:
https://youtu.be/qAx01B9XhFs)  

-. “Dr. Cornel West & James H. Cone in Conversation – Black Prophetic Fire”. Leigha Cohen Video Productions, 2014. (Source:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLDGVuYmedk)  

Anderson, Reynaldo. “On Black Panther, Afrofuturism, and Astroblackness: A Conversation with Reynaldo Anderson,” The Black Scholar, March 13, 2018. (Source: https://www.theblackscholar.org/on-black-panther-afrofuturism-and-astroblackness-a-conversation-with-reynaldo-anderson/)  

Biko, Steve. “Black Souls in White Skins?” and “We Blacks,” in Aelred Stubbs, ed.
I Write What I Like: A Selection of His Writings. Heinemann, 1987. (Trinity College Library: DT763 .B48 1987; Robarts Library: DT763 .B48 1979)

Bissoy, Jeffrey. “The Inner Conflict of Watching Black Panther as an African and African American,” in On Being, April 13, 2008. (Source: https://onbeing.org/blog/jeffrey-bissoy-what-wakanda-means-to-me/)  

Black Panther. Director: Ryan Coogler. Performances: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o. Marvel Studios, 2018. Film. (Robarts Library MediaCommons: VideoDVD 766498; also available through several electronic resources via the U of T catalogue)

Botman, H. Russel , "Towards a world-formative Christianity in South Africa," in Mongezi Guma and A. Leslie Milton (editors),
An African challenge to the church in the twenty-first century.  Johannesburg: South African Council of Churches, 1997.

Brockington, Ariana. “Black Panther Fans Show Their #WakandaCameToSlay Inspired Premiere Outfits,” in
Variety, February 15, 2018. (Source: https://variety.com/2018/film/news/black-panther-thursday-night-previews-wakanda-came-to-slay-1202701687/)

Buttelli, Felipe G.K., and Le Bruyns, Clint. “#FeesMustFall as social movement and emancipatory politics: Moving towards an apocalyptic theological praxis outside the limits of party politics.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 73 (3), 2017. (Source:  https://hts.org.za/index.php/hts/article/view/4789)  

Channing Brown, Austin. I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness. Convergent Books, 2018. (Toronto Public Library: available at multiple branches and as an ebook)

Coates, Ta-Nehisi. “The Return of the Black Panther,” in The Atlantic Monthly. April 2016. (Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-return-of-the-black-panther/471516/)  

Coates, Ta-Nehisi, et al. Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet (2016-2018, Issues 1-12). Marvel, 2016-2018. (Issues 1-3 available at New College/Ivey Library: PN6728 .B554 C63 and University College/Laidlaw Library under the same call number; issues 1-8 are available through the Toronto Public Library in print and digitally through Hoopla)

Cobb, Jelani. “‘Black Panther’ and the Invention of ‘Africa’,” in The New Yorker, February 18, 2018. (Source: https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/black-panther-and-the-invention-of-africa)  

Cone, James H. “Demystifying Martin and Malcolm.” Theology Today 51.1, 1994. (Source: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/004057369405100104?journalCode=ttja; also available through the U of T catalogue and here: http://web.b.ebscohost.com.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=a7be7822-badd-41e1-b50f-f4c9648373ff%40sessionmgr101&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=ATLA0000878604&db=rfh)

Cone, James H. “The Gospel and the Liberation of the Poor,” in Christian Century. February 1, 1981. (Source: https://www.religion-online.org/article/the-gospel-and-the-liberation-of-the-poor/)  

Coogler, Ryan. Song Exploder: Episode 131, Black Panther. March 14, 2018. Podcast. (Source: http://songexploder.net/black-panther)

Coovadia, Imraan. “Africanism and Afrofuturism: Blackness, Black Panther and Achille Mbembe’s Critique of Black Reason,” in
The Johannesburg Review of Books, April 4, 2018. (Source: https://johannesburgreviewofbooks.com/2018/04/04/africanism-and-afrofuturism-imraan-coovadia-considers-blackness-black-panther-and-achille-mbembes-critique-of-black-reason/)

Dery, Mark, “Black to the  Future: Interviews with Samuel R. Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose,” in Mark Dery (ed.) Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture. Duke University Press, 1994. (Source: https://www.uvic.ca/victoria-colloquium/assets/docs/Black%20to%20the%20Future.pdf; this book is available at Gerstein Library: QA76.9 .C66 F55 1994 and digitally via the U of T catalogue) NOTE: Perhaps the first mention of the term afrofuturism.

Edoro, Ainehi, and Bhakti Shringarpure. “Africa is a Country in Wakanda,” in
Africa is a Country, February 26, 2018. (Source: https://africasacountry.com/2018/02/africa-is-a-country-in-wakanda)  

Elderkin, Beth, “Black Panther's Costume Designer Breaks Down the Real World Inspiration Behind Key Looks,” in io9, May 8, 2018. (Source: https://io9.gizmodo.com/black-panthers-costume-designer-breaks-down-the-real-wo-1825865341 - watch the linked video from Vanity Fair)

Fisher, M., “The metaphysics of crackle: Afrofuturism and hauntology,” in
Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture, 2013, 5(2), 42-55. (Source: https://dj.dancecult.net/index.php/dancecult/article/viewFile/378/391)

Ford, Tanisha C. “The Afrofuturistic Designs of Black Panther: Why Fashion Is Key to Understanding the World of Black Panther,” in
The Atlantic Monthly, February 15, 2018. (Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/02/why-fashion-is-key-to-understanding-the-world-of-black-panther/553157/)

Foster, Dion. “Black Theologies, African Theologies, and the challenge of whiteness: An Interview with Dr. Rothney Tshaka,” August 18, 2016. Video. (Source:
https://youtu.be/D4t3Eq054LE)

Gay, Roxane, et al. Black Panther: World of Wakanda (2016-2017, Issues 1-6). Marvel, 2016-2017. (University College/Laidlaw Library: PN6728 .B523 B539 2017; also available at many branches of the Toronto Public Library)

Gipson, Grace. “The Future Is Black and Female: Afrofuturism and Comic Books,” in Black Perspectives, October 14, 2017. (Source: https://www.aaihs.org/the-future-is-black-and-female-afrofuturism-and-comic-books/)

Heer, Jeet. “The New Utopians,” in The New Republic, November 9, 2015. (Source: https://newrepublic.com/article/123217/new-utopians)  

Hermes, Will. “Janelle Monae’s ‘Dirty Computer’ Is a Liberated Futurist Funk Masterpiece,” in
Rolling Stone, April 30, 2018. (Source: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-album-reviews/review-janelle-monaes-dirty-computer-is-a-liberated-futurist-funk-masterpiece-630669/)

King, Martin Luther, Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail. April 16, 1963. (Source: https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html)  

King, Martin Luther, Jr. I Have a Dream. August 28, 1963. (Source: https://americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm)  

Malcolm X. The Ballot or the Bullet. April 3, 1964. (Source: http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/the-ballot-or-the-bullet/)  

Macqueen, Ian. “Black Consciousness in Dialogue in South Africa: Steve Biko, Richard Turner and the ‘Durban Moment’, 1970–1974,” in
Journal of Asian and African Studies 49 (5), 2014. (Source: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0021909613493609; also available via the U of T catalogue: https://journals-scholarsportal-info.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/details/00219096/v49i0005/511_bcidisrtatm1.xml)

Mbembe, Achille. “African Modes of Self-Writing,” in
Public Culture, 2002, 14 (1): 239-273. (Source: http://calternatives.org/resource/pdf/African%20Modes%20of%20Self-Writing.pdf)

Mbembe, Achille. “Africa in the New Century,” in Lien Heidenreich-Seleme and Sean O’Toole,
African Futures: Thinking about the Future in Word and Image. Kerber Culture, 2016, pp. 315-335. (Robarts Library: PL8011 .A37 2016Y)

Mbembe, Achille, and Sarah Nuttall . “Writing the World from an African Metropolis,” in
Public Culture 2004, 16 (3): 347–372. (Source: https://read.dukeupress.edu/public-culture/article/16/3/347/31776/Writing-the-World-from-an-African-Metropolis)

Mondini, Filippo, “Politics Beyond the State,” in. Abahlali baseMjondolo, June 18, 2008. (Source: http://abahlali.org/node/3694/)  

Morris, S. M., “Black Girls Are from the Future: Afrofuturist Feminism in Octavia E. Butler’s Fledgling,” in
WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, 2013, 40(3), 146-166. (available through the U of T cataloge: http://muse.jhu.edu.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/article/493871 with print versions New College/Ivey Library and OISE Periodical stacks)

Okorafor, Nnedi, et al. Shuri (2018-2019, Issues 1-4). Marvel, 2018-2019.

Opam, Kwame, “The Many Meanings of Black Panther’s Mask,” in
The New York Times, February 13, 2018. (Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/13/style/black-panther-children-costumes.html)

Ramírez, Catherine S. (2008). “Afrofuturism/Chicanafuturism: Fictive Kin,” in A
ztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 33(1), 185-194.

Reese, Hope. “How the Afrofuturism behind Black Panther and Get Out combines social justice and sci-fi,” in
Vox, February 27, 2018. (Source: https://www.vox.com/conversations/2018/2/26/17040674/black-panther-afrofuturism-get-out)

Rickford, Russell. “I have a problem with Black Panther,” in Africa is a Country, February 22, 2018. (Source: https://africasacountry.com/2018/02/i-have-a-problem-with-black-panther)  

Selasi, Taiye. “Bye-Bye Babar,” in The Lip, March 3, 2005. (Source: http://thelip.robertsharp.co.uk/?p=76)  

Serpell, Namwali. “The Zambian ‘Afronaut’ Who Wanted to Join the Space Race,” in
The New Yorker, March 11, 2017. (Source: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-zambian-afronaut-who-wanted-to-join-the-space-race)  

Shane, Candice, "Interview: Andrien Gbinigie Talks Cosplay, Inclusivity and Comics!" in The Daily Crate, July 30, 2018. (Source: https://www.lootcrate.com/community/daily-crate/interview-andrien-gbinigie-talks-cosplay-inclusivity-comics/)

Simone, AbdouMaliq, “Introduction: Remaking African Cities,” in
For the City Yet to Come. Duke University Press, 2004, pp. 1-20. (Robarts Library: HT148 .A2 S52 2004X; also available as an electronic resource: http://go.utlib.ca/cat/8121520)

Sylvain, Didier, and Kaiama L. Glover. “Tomorrow is the Question: Afrofuturism and engaging prophetically with history,” in Africa is a Country, March 2, 2015. (Source: https://africasacountry.com/2015/03/tomorrow-is-the-question-afrofuturism-and-engaging-prophetically-with-history)  

Tal, K. (1996). “The unbearable Whiteness of being: African American critical theory and cyberculture.” (Source:
http://kalital.com/the-unbearable-whiteness-of-being-african-american-critical-theory-and-cybercultur/)

Thompson-Hernández, Walter, "‘Black Panther’ Cosplayers: ‘We’re Helping People See Us as Heroes’," in
The New York Times, February 15, 2018. (Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/style/black-panther-movie-cosplay.html).

Tremblay, Jean-Thomas. “Being Black and Breathing: On 'Blackpentecostal Breath',” in
Los Angeles Review of Books, October 19, 2016. (Source: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/being-black-and-breathing-on-blackpentecostal-breath/#!)

Tucker, Boima. “America’s Wakanda,” in Africa is a Country, February 23, 2018. (Source: https://africasacountry.com/2018/02/african-americas-wakanda)

Tucker, Stone, and David Brothers. “Fear of a Black Panther,” in The Comics Journal. February 16, 2018. (Source: http://www.tcj.com/fear-of-a-black-panther/)  

Turner, Richard Albert. “The Necessity of Utopian Thinking,” Chapter 1 in The Eye of the Needle: Towards Participatory Democracy in South Africa. Orbis, 1972. (Source: http://www.sahistory.org.za/archive/eye-needle-chapter-1-necessity-utopian-thinking)  

Whitbrook , James. “Shuri's New Series Is a Seamless, Promising Mix of Her Comic and Movie Selves,” in io9, October 19, 2018. (Source: https://io9.gizmodo.com/shuris-new-series-is-a-seamless-promising-mix-of-her-c-1829867348)  

Wortham, Jenna. “How Janelle Monáe Found Her Voice,” in
The New York Times Magazine, April 19, 2018. (Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/19/magazine/how-janelle-monae-found-her-voice.html)

Recommended Resources

Additional recommendations will be made during the course.

Biko, Steve. Aelred Stubbs, ed. I Write What I Like: A Selection of His Writings. Heinemann, 1987. (Trinity College Library: DT763 .B48 1987; Robarts Library: DT763 .B48 1979)

Boutie, Jamelle. “Black Panther Is a Marvel Movie Superpowered by Its Ideas,” in Slate, February 15, 2018. (Source: https://slate.com/culture/2018/02/black-panther-the-new-marvel-movie-reviewed.html)

Bradley, Laura. “The Secrets Behind Black Panther’s Spellbinding Fashion,” in Vanity Fair, February 16, 2018. (Source: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/02/black-panther-costumes-designer-ruth-carter-interview)

Buttelli, Felipe G.K., and Le Bruyns, Clint. “#FeesMustFall as social movement and emancipatory politics: Moving towards an apocalyptic theological praxis outside the limits of party politics.”
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 73 (3), November 2017. (Source:  https://hts.org.za/index.php/hts/article/view/4789)

 

Camacho, Daniel José. “Why James H. Cone’s Liberation Theology Matters More Than Ever,” in Religion Dispatches. June 2, 2015. (Source: http://religiondispatches.org/why-james-h-cones-liberation-theology-matters-more-than-ever/)

Coleman, Clayton D. “Queer Afrofuturism: Utopia, Sexuality, and Desire in Samuel Delany’s “Aye, and Gomorrah” in Utopian Studies 28 (2), 2017. (Accessible via the U of T catalogue and here: https://muse-jhu-edu.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/article/665132) 

Denis, Philippe. "Seminary Networks and Black Consciousness in South Africa in the 1970s," in South African Historical Journal 62 (1), 2010. (Accessible via the U of T catalogue and here: https://journals-scholarsportal-info.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/details/02582473/v62i0001/162_snabcisait1.xml )

Fasholé-Luke, E.) “The Quest for African Christian Theologies,” in the
Scottish Journal of Theology, 1976, 29(2), 159-176. (Accessible via the U of T catalogue and here: https://www-cambridge-org.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/core/journals/scottish-journal-of-theology/article/quest-for-african-christian-theologies/C089E73CF0199D996E95C065FCF8FE5E) 

Fluxman, Tony and Peter Vale. “Re-reading Rick Turner in the New South Africa,” in International Relations 18 (2), 2004. (Source: http://abahlali.org/files/Turner%20by%20Fluxman%20and%20Vale.pdf)

Greaves, Duncan. “Richard Turner and the Politics of Emancipation,” in Theoria 70, August 1987. (Source: http://disa.ukzn.ac.za/sites/default/files/pdf_files/theoaug87.pdf)

Guyer, Jane I. “In Commemoration of Jean-Marc Ela,” in African Studies, November 2009. (Source:
http://www.jwtc.org.za/resources/docs/salon-volume-2/janeguyer_ela.pdf)

Hewitt, Roderick R., and Chammah J. Kaunda (eds.)
Who Is an African? Race, Identity, and Destiny in Post-apartheid South Africa. Lexington Books / Fortress Academic, 2018.

Hornaday, Ann. “‘Black Panther’ is exhilarating, groundbreaking and more than worth the wait,” in The Washington Post, February 9, 2018. (Source:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/movies/black-panther-is-exhilarating-groundbreaking-and-more-than-worth-the-wait/2018/02/09/)

Kayla Marie. “My 8-Year-Old Afro-Latino Son Inspired the Viral #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe Hashtag,” in Remezcla, February 8, 2018. (Source: http://remezcla.com/features/culture/what-black-panthers-means-to-me/)

Kreider, Tim. “Our Greatest Political Novelist?” in The New Yorker, December 12, 2013. (Source: https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/our-greatest-political-novelist)

Macqueen, Ian Martin. Re-imagining South Africa: Black Consciousness, radical Christianity and the New Left, 1967 – 1977. Doctoral thesis (DPhil), University of Sussex, 2011. (Source: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/7348/)

Mangcu, Xolela. Biko: A Life. I. B. Tauris, 2014. (Robarts Library: DT1949 .B55 M36 2014Y)

Mbembe, Achille. “Aesthetics of Superfluity,” in
Public Culture, 2004, 16 (3): 373-405. (Accessible via the U of T catalogue and here: https://muse-jhu-edu.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/article/173738) 

Mitter, Siddhartha. “The World Is Witnessing Nigeria's Creative Golden Age,” in
W, October 3, 2018. (Source: https://www.wmagazine.com/story/nigerian-artists-writers-musicians-fashion-designers)

Mngxitama, Andile; Alexander, Amanda; Gibson, Nigel. Biko Lives! Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko. Palgrave, 2008. (Robarts Library: DT1949 .B55 B54 2008)

Morris, Susana M. “Black Girls Are from the Future: Afrofuturist Feminism in Octavia E. Butler’s ‘Fledgling’,” in Women’s Studies Quarterly 40 (3/4), 2012. (Accessible via the U of T catalogue and here: http://muse.jhu.edu.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/article/493871) 

Mouw, Richard J. When the Kings Come Marching in: Isaiah and the New Jerusalem. Eerdmans, 2002. (ICS Library: BS1515.52 .M68 2002)

Mukuka, George. "The Impact of Black Consciousness on Black Clergy and Their Training," in Bulletin for Contextual Theology in Southern Africa & Africa 4 (1), 1997. (Victoria University Emmanuel College Periodical Stacks)

Nelson, Alondra. “Introduction: Future Texts [on Afrofuturism],” in Social Texts 20 (2), 2002.  (Journal available as a digital resources in the U of T catalogue and also here: https://muse-jhu-edu.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/article/31931) 

Orr, Christopher. “Black Panther Is More Than a Superhero Movie,” in The Atlantic Monthly, February 16, 2018. (Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/02/black-panther-review/553508/)

Parker, Brinton. “Women of Color Are Busting Out Some Jaw-Droppingly Gorgeous Outfits to See Black Panther,” in PopSugar, February 16, 2018. (Source: https://www.popsugar.com/fashion/Black-Girl-Nerds-Wakanda-Came-Slay-Outfits-Hashtag-44590575)

Piper, L. "From Religious Transcendence to Political Utopia: the Legacy of Richard Turner for Post-Apartheid Political Thought." Theoria. (2010): 77-98. (Source: http://repository.uwc.ac.za/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10566/582/PiperSouthAfricanPolitics2010.pdf?sequence=3)

Pitts, Lan. “New ‘Different Direction’ Black Panther #1 - Not a ‘Superhero Script’” [an interview with artist Brian Stelfreeze], in News-a-Rama, October 2, 2015. (Source: https://www.newsarama.com/26147-stelfreeze-opens-up-about-new-panther-series-in-baltimore.html)

Ryzik, Melena. “The Afrofuturistic Designs of ‘Black Panther’,” in The New York Times, February 23, 2018. (Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/23/movies/black-panther-afrofuturism-costumes-ruth-carter.html)

See, DaVette. “Letitia Wright: The Woman Behind Shuri, the Next-Level Disney Princess,” in
Black Girl Nerds, February 9, 2018. (Source: https://blackgirlnerds.com/letitia-wright-the-woman-behind-shuri-the-next-level-disney-princess/)

Strauss, Gideon. “Is there hope for Africa?” in Providence, Spring 2016. (Source: https://providencemag.com/wp-content/uploads/Is-There-Hope-for-Africa-Gideon-Strauss.pdf)

Turner, Jann. “My Father, Rick Turner.” (Source, including a brief introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBK8BuJMGS4)

Turner, Richard Albert. The Eye of the Needle: Towards Participatory Democracy in South Africa. Orbis, 1972. (Robarts Library: HN800 .S6 T87 1980)

Wark, McKenzie. “A Functional Form Has Its Own Beauty: An Interview with Kim Stanley Robinson: McKenzie Wark interviews Kim Stanley Robinson,” in Los Angeles Review of Books, September 1, 2013. (Source: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/a-functional-form-has-its-own-beauty-an-interview-with-kim-stanley-robinson)

Course Website(s)

Course Learning Objectives/Outcomes

Top of Form

Top of Form

GRADUATE “DEGREE LEVEL EXPECTATIONS”

CORRESPONDING COURSE GOALS AND OUTCOMES

CORRESPONDING COURSE ELEMENTS / ASSIGNMENTS

EXPECTATIONS:

In this course students are expected to demonstrate the following:

1. Depth and Breadth of Knowledge is defined as a set of increasing levels of understanding within a student’s area of specialization, methodologies, primary & secondary sources, historical developments and inter-disciplinarity.

By the end of this course, students will be able to discuss and evaluate articulations of Blackness in relation to an ethics of liberation, in the contexts of the American civil rights struggle, the South African struggle against apartheid, and the Afrofuturism of the Black Panther comic books and movie of 2017 and 2018.

Reading reports/seminar papers and classroom discussions

2. Research and Scholarship is defined as the ability to identify a new or unresolved question, to locate that question within a corpus of scholarly research & assess critically the relevant literature, to adopt a methodology(-ies), and to then formulate a thesis and reasoned argument(s) on the basis of the evidence.

By the end of this course, students will be able to identify new or unresolved questions with regard to the ethics of liberation, locate these questions in relation to significant historical discourses on Blackness, assess the relevant literature critically, formulate a thesis, and offer reasoned arguments on the basis of the evidence.

Research paper of 2,000 to 3,000 words and a related classroom presentation

        

3. Level of Application of Knowledge is defined as the ability to engage in self-directed or assisted research, and the ability to produce innovative or original analysis within the context of graduate seminars and courses.

By the end of this course, students will be able to engage in self-directed or assisted research and produce innovative or original analysis within the context of graduate seminars and courses.

Research paper of 2,000 to 3,000 words and a related classroom presentation

4. Professional Capacity or Autonomy is defined as the ability to translate the knowledge gained in other research or professional settings, e.g., to  undertake further studies in their area of concentration; or to enter or return to other professional vocations for which an advanced understanding of Theological Studies is necessary or beneficial.

By the end of this course, students will be able to evaluate their own experiences and practices as citizens and activists in terms of approaches to the ethics of liberation that are informed by academic discourses on Blackness.

By the end of this course, students will be able to create writing that gives expression to the exercise of utopian imagination as a practice of emancipatory struggle

Reflection paper of 2,000 to 3,000 words and a related classroom presentation

A piece of creative writing of 2,000 to 3,000 words and a related classroom presentation

5. Level of Communication Skills is defined as clear and effective communication in both oral and written forms; the construction of logical arguments; the making of informed judgments on complex issues; and facility with standard conventions of style for scholarly writing.

By the end of this course, students will be able to communicate clearly and effectively in both oral and written forms, construct logical arguments, make informed judgments on complex issues, and demonstrate facility with standard conventions of style for scholarly writing.

Research paper of 2,000 to 3,000 words and a related classroom presentation

Reflection paper of 2,000 to 3,000 words and a related classroom presentation

Reading reports/seminar papers and classroom discussions

6. Awareness of the Limits of Knowledge is defined as the recognition that Theological Studies is a complex discipline, comprising: a broad array of subject areas; methods and sources; various ecclesiastical traditions and social contexts; and, insights from other disciplines. 

By the end of this course, students will be able to recognise and critically evaluate the complexity of theological and philosophical studies in relation to discourses on Blackness and the ethics of liberation.

Seminar presentations and research paper

Evaluation

Requirements

The final grade for the course will be based on evaluations in three areas:

Basic Degree Students:

(1) Participation (20%) – Active participation in the in-person sessions of this course         

(2) Seminar papers (30%) – Written reports in response to 1,250 pages of reading

(3) Final paper (50%) – Timely completion of a research paper, a reflection paper, and a piece of creative writing, each 2,000 to 3,000 words in length

Grading System

                A+ (90-100)                

                A (85-89)                

                A- (80-84)                

                B+ (77-79)                

                B (73-76)                

                B- (70-72)                

                Failure

Please see the appropriate handbook for more details about the grading scale and non-numerical grades (e.g. SDF, INC, etc).

Late work (BD). Basic Degree students are expected to hand in assignments by the date given in the course outline. [The instructor should stipulate the penalty for late work.] This penalty is not applied to students with medical or compassionate difficulties; students facing such difficulties are kindly requested to consult with their faculty adviser or basic degree director, who should make a recommendation on the matter to the instructor. The absolute deadline for the course is the examination day scheduled for the course. Students who for exceptional reasons (e.g., a death in the family or a serious illness) are unable to complete work by this date may request an extension (SDF = “standing deferred”) beyond the term.  An SDF must be requested from the registrar’s office in the student’s college of registration no later than the last day of classes in which the course is taken. The SDF, when approved, will have a mutually agreed upon deadline that does not extend beyond the conclusion of the following term. If a student has not completed work but has not been granted an SDF, a final mark will be submitted calculating a zero for work not submitted.  

Policies

Accessibility. Students with a disability or health consideration, whether temporary or permanent, are entitled to accommodation. Students in conjoint degree programs must register at the University of Toronto’s Accessibility Services offices; information is available at http://www.accessibility.utoronto.ca/. The sooner a student seeks accommodation, the quicker we can assist.

Plagiarism. Students submitting written material in courses are expected to provide full documentation for sources of both words and ideas in footnotes or endnotes. Direct quotations should be placed within quotation marks. (If small changes are made in the quotation, they should be indicated by appropriate punctuation such as brackets and ellipses, but the quotation still counts as a direct quotation.) Failure to document borrowed material constitutes plagiarism, which is a serious breach of academic, professional, and Christian ethics. An instructor who discovers evidence of student plagiarism is not permitted to deal with the situation individually but is required to report it to his or her head of college or delegate according to the TST Basic Degree Handbook and the Graduate program Handbooks (linked from http://www.tst.edu/academic/resources-forms/handbooks and the University of Toronto Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4871. A student who plagiarizes in this course will be assumed to have read the document “Avoidance of plagiarism in theological writing” published by the Graham Library of Trinity and Wycliffe Colleges http://www.trinity.utoronto.ca/Library_Archives/Theological_Resources/Tools/Guides/plag.htm

Other academic offences. TST students come under the jurisdiction of the University of Toronto Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/policies/behaveac.htm.  

Back-up copies.  Please make back-up copies of essays before handing them in.

Obligation to check email. At times, the course instructor may decide to send out important course information by email.

Email communication with the course instructor.  The instructor aims to respond to email communications from students in a timely manner.

Course Schedule

Week 1

January 14, 2019        Why is a white man teaching a course on Black Panther? The movie, the comics, and the questions they raise.

Watch: Black Panther (the film), Black Panther Conversation - 20 March @ Common Ground Church Rondebosch, Cape Town,Foster (video)

Read: Mbembe (2016)  

Week 2

January 21, 2019        Black Panther and the ethics of liberation

Read: The comics (Coates, Gay, Okorafor), Dery  

Assignment: Seminar Paper

Week 3

January 28, 2019        Africa, North America, race, colonialism

Read: Bissoy, Cobb, Coovadia, Edoro and Shringarpure, Tucker, Whitbrook
Assignment: Seminar Paper

Week 4

February 4, 2019        Utopian imagination as a practice of emancipatory struggle (1)

Read: The Bible (Isaiah 58, 59, and 60; Revelation 20 and 21), Buttelli and Le Bruyns, Heer

Assignment: Creative writing

Week 5

February 11, 2019        Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X: The American Civil Rights Movement and the ethics of liberation

Read: Cone (two pieces), King, Malcolm X

Watch: “Dr. Cornel West & James H. Cone in Conversation – Black Prophetic Fire”.

Assignment: Seminar Paper

Week 6

February 25, 2019        Steve Biko and Rick Turner: The struggle against apartheid in South Africa and the ethics of liberation (1)

Read: Biko, Turner

Week 7

March 4, 2019        Steve Biko and Rick Turner: The struggle against apartheid in South Africa and the ethics of liberation (2)

Read: Macqueen
Assignment: Seminar Paper

Week 8

March 11, 2019                Blackness and Whiteness

Read: Channing Brown, Tal, Tremblay
Assignment: Reflection Paper

Week 9

March 18, 2019                Black Liberation and other struggles for liberation.

Read: Gipson, Morris, Ramirez, Reese
Assignment: Seminar Paper

Week 10

March 25, 2019        #WakandaCameToSlay: Black Panther, Afropunk, Cosplay, social media, appropriation, and emancipation

Listen: Coogler (podcast)
Read: Brockington, Fisher, Ford, Hermes, Opam, Shane, Thompson-Hernández, Wortham

View: The Instagram accounts of Ruth Carter, Ikiré Jones,and Andrien Gbinigie.

Search for: #WakandaCameToSlay on Instagram and Twitter, “Black Panther “ on http://afropunk.com/. 
Assignment: Seminar Paper

Week 11

April 1, 2019        Afrofuturism beyond Black Panther (1)

Read: Anderson, Selasi, Serpell, Sylvain and Glover
Assignment: Seminar Paper

Week 12

April 8, 2019                Afrofuturism beyond Black Panther (2)

Read: Mbembe (2002), Mbembe and Nuttall, Simone
Assignment: Seminar Paper

Week 13

April 15, 2019        Utopian imagination as a practice of emancipatory struggle (2). Why is a white man teaching a course on Black Panther? (Reprise)

Read: Mondini and Botman

Assignment: Research Paper

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Course Syllabus Template

Up-dated: September 2017