Universität Wien FIND
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124267 AR Cultural/Media Studies 1/2 (AR) (2021S)

Black Feminism

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 14:15-15:45 online
Starts on: 11.03.2021

Due to the ongoing public health situation, this course will be taught online.

Thursday 11.03. 14:15 - 15:45 Digital
Thursday 18.03. 14:15 - 15:45 Digital
Thursday 25.03. 14:15 - 15:45 Digital
Thursday 15.04. 14:15 - 15:45 Digital
Thursday 22.04. 14:15 - 15:45 Digital
Thursday 29.04. 14:15 - 15:45 Digital
Thursday 06.05. 14:15 - 15:45 Digital
Thursday 20.05. 14:15 - 15:45 Digital
Thursday 27.05. 14:15 - 15:45 Digital
Thursday 10.06. 14:15 - 15:45 Digital
Thursday 17.06. 14:15 - 15:45 Digital
Thursday 24.06. 14:15 - 15:45 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Due to the ongoing public health situation, this course will be taught online. All scholarly articles as well as some excerpts from literary texts will be made available on Moodle. The three assignments are to be turned in as .doc files or .pdf files via email (sylvia.mieszkowski@univie.ac.at), which means there is no need for you to come into Department while it may not be safe to do so.

This course seeks to entwine contemporary literature, history and theory. Bernardine Evaristo's Booker-Prize winner Girl, Woman, Other (2019) will provide us with the literary strand. The novel comes in 13 self-contained yet connected chapters, and we'll use one part of our lesson each week to discuss them in chronological order. A second part of each week's lesson will be dedicated to historical background or contemporary context, which will range from the history of slavery and its connection with imperialism to the history of (scientific) racism and protest movements like Black Lives Matter. While I'll make suggestions, this is the part where you are invited to bring content into the course that you deem important, interesting and in dialogue with the respective chapter of Evaristo's novel. The third strand of each lesson will be dedicated to a theory text from the field of Black Feminism that I'll select. It will be largely up do you, how exactly these three strands are woven, plaited or twisted together or how they otherwise form a constellation that opens up a space for discussion.

This AR pursues several goals: to teach you about gender, race, class and age as intersected, socially constructed, relational categories; to help you contextualise literary texts with historical contexts; to help you bring theory and literature productively into contact with each other. The 'specialist'-task (which every student in class undertakes once) is supposed to provide the basis and impulses for the group work (in which every student in class participates on a weekly basis). You'll be expected to provide a powerpoint presentation as an accompaniment to your specialist task.

One week before the lesson in which it is your turn to act as specialist, I will meet with you online, discuss your ideas, make suggestions and help you structure your plan. After each lesson, you, next week's specialist and I will get together for an immediate reflexion, which takes into consideration your own estimate of your performance, peer-feedback and feedback from me.

Assessment and permitted materials

Regular attendance; regular preparation of assigned reading material; active participation in class discussion; spark a discussion task (plus ppt); active participation work groups; three written assignments (A1: 1000 words; A2: 1000 words; A3: 1500 words).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

No more than two lessons may be missed without a medical reason certified by a doctor's note. If such a document is produced, a third lesson may be missed but is to be compensated for at the teacher's discretion. If no such document is produced or if more than three lessons are missed, this results in failing the course.

Active participation in class discussion: 15%
Specialist task: 35%
Assignment 1 (1000 words): 15%
Assignment 2 (1000 words): 15%
Assignment 3 (1500 words): 20%

Students must attain at least 60% to pass this course.

Marks in %:
1 (very good): 90-100%
2 (good): 81-89%
3 (satisfactory): 71-80%
4 (pass): 60-70%
5 (fail): 0-59%

Examination topics

There will be no written exam.

Reading list

Book to buy:

The following novel will provide the literary red thread for this class and should be purchased:

- Bernardine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other (2019) [ISBN: 978-0241984994]

A few volumes have been ordered at Facultas bookshop on Campus, in case you live in Vienna.

Texts on Moodle:

All scholarly articles will be made available to you on Moodle.

Background reading (not compulsory):

- Heidi Safia Mirza, Black British Feminism (1997)
- Joy James and T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, The Black Feminist Reader (2001)
- Stanley Engerman et al. (eds.), Slavery (2001)
- James Walvin, Black Ivory: Slavery in the British Empire (2001)
- James Walvin, A Short History of Slavery (2007)
- Lowery, Wesley, The Cant Kill Us All: The Story of Black Lives Matter (2017)
- Garza, Alicia, The Purpose of Power (2020)

Association in the course directory

Studium: MA 844; MA 844(2); UF MA 046/507
Code/Modul: MA6, MA7; MA 844(2) 3.1, 3.2; UF MA 4A
Lehrinhalt: 12-4262

Last modified: We 21.04.2021 11:26