Courses

Course explores a variety of American ethnic authors' engagement with religion in the context of racial strife, uplift, and hierarchy in the United States. As we shall see, many of these authors will be drawn to the power of Christianity for a variety of reasons, not all of them spiritual. Some will seek the potential for cross-ethnic communities brought together by mutual circumstance as a strategy for assimilating into the larger body politic, or simply as a way to sculpt their own racial identities. Still others confront Christianity as a way to confront a U.S. racialized society as a whole and critique their place within it. There will be, of course, even other fraught relationships between the individual, Christianity, and related hegemonic forces. Our task will be to examine these confrontations and how they intersect with related issues concerning sexuality, gender, class, revolution, and many others. The questions we will consistently pursue throughout the class will address what value these authors find in Christianity and what cultural adversities challenge their faith, as well as what these narratives offer us as a community of faith.