WHAT IF ALL BLACK PEOPLE ARE QUEER?
Queering Black Studies
Professor Kwame Holmes
In this research semin ar, we will engage queer theory, critical black studies and the African American
experience from slavery to the present, to explore answers to this question. On the way our course
will delve into and through the following sub-themes: What political, economic and cultural
institutions in the United States have been designed to sexually regulate black populations? What is
the difference, if any, between “gay” and “queer?” How have black writers and political leaders dealt
with the queer character of blackness? This course explores the productive tensions between
African American and Queer studies and, ultimately, reveals the way these fields have and must
continue to speak to each other. By the end of the semester, students will gain a powerful
understanding of the centrality of sexuality to both the constitution of anti-black racism and the
construction of African American identity and politics in the United States.