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Graduate Topics in African American Studies (480-0-21)


Affect and Blackness


Herman Barnor Hesse
1860 Campus Dr Crowe 5-131

Meeting Info

Kresge Centennial Hall 2-339: Thurs 2:00PM - 4:50PM

Overview of class

This course will explore through reading, viewing, listening and discussion the relation between the study of affect and the study of Blackness. Affect refers to the realm of emotional and bodily intensities that emerge as feelings and orientations in personal, social, political and cultural relationships. The importance of understanding affect lies in drawing our attention to modes in which individuals and groups are motivated and mobilized in registers of social being that do not rely on cognitive processing and rational argument but are rather anchored in non-discursive passionate attachments, embodied practices . In relation to the idea of Affect the course will discuss the meaning of Black Feeling in both abjection/social death and eventfulness/social life, in the affective formation of identity, practice, sensibility, comportment and community. In developing this approach, the specific focus of Black Affect will be the political and cultural orientations of feeling, sensation, communication, and intelligibility in different expressions and forms of Black Music and/or Black Film.