What Is Racial Difference?

Through literary and interdisciplinary methods, this course examines the nature of race. While current debates about race often assume it to be an exclusively modern problem, this course uses classical, medieval, early modern, and modern materials to investigate the long history of race and the means by which thinkers have categorized groups of people and investigated the differences between them through the ages. The course examines the development of race through discourses of linguistic, physical, geographic, and religious difference--from the Tower of Babel to Aristotle, from the Crusades to nineteenth-century racial taxonomies, from Chaucer to Toni Morrison. Considering the roles physical appearance has played in each of these arenas, we will thoughtfully consider the question: What Is Racial Difference? Fulfills the Diversity of Literatures in English requirement.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None. Not open to students who have taken ENG 391.

Instructor: Whitaker

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring