Morehouse College has launched a new LGBT course that will focus on LGBT pop culture, politics and social structures, according to the Maroon Tiger.
The concept of the course came from a LGBT advocacy leader, Marcus Lee, and a Yale University professor, Dr. Jafari Allen. The two partnered up to offer the campus something that has never been available for those interested in learning more about queer sexuality, gender and blackness.
“He’s very interested in gender non-conformity among people of color, and I’m interested in that as well,” Lee said. “I told him that I don’t have much direction here at Morehouse because many of the professors whose focus is on sexuality often focus on diseases and not really cultural critique. So he recommended that he teach a class via Skype.”
The course will specifically focus on key concepts of black feminism and critical cultural theory and methodology. This has been described as “an interdisciplinary survey of black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) culture and politics” in the course’s syllabus.
Faculty and students of Morehouse are optimistic that the course will shed light on LGBT leaders and topics normally not given their due acknowledgement due to their sexuality.
“I want students to be open and engaged in reading closely, generously, and with what Gramsci called something like ‘pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will,’” Allen said. “That is, to relentlessly question and never settle for a just-so story or interpretation that suggests, for example, that any knowledge is innocent of the author’s own motives, background or the times in which s/he lived … This is my general commitment as a pedagogue.”
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