Marcus Anthony Brock

Undergraduate Discipline

Literature

BA, University of California, Los Angeles. MCM, University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. PhD (ABD), Stony Brook University. An emphatic purveyor of culture, aesthetics and the human condition. Research interests include visual culture, Afrofuturism, media and communications, gender and sexuality, arts education, subculture, postcolonialism, sartorial symbolism, queer studies, and social justice. SLC, 2018-

Undergraduate Courses 2018-2019

Literature

African American Literature: Doing It for the Culture: Journeys Into Revelation, Aspiration, and Soul

Open , Seminar—Fall

Is it possible to teach or produce African American literature without discussing black identity, the African, or the experiences within the diaspora? For students of literature and ethnic studies, “literature” can connote fine lines; but African American literature, and those who write within it, are created within a specific history. Thus, how does literature provide a space for sustaining the cultural traditions of African Americans? Socioeconomics? Race relations? Interracial relations? Queer black bodies? Blackness as pathology? And blackness as the hopeful future? Throughout the semester, we will read and dissect literature and the poetics of song and images that tend to provoke the aforementioned questions while also understanding the significant difference in vernacular within the field. African American literature is always in discourse with the relationships of Africans, blacks, and African Americans within the greater American society; thus, the authors are interpreted within a political conversation about the black body. In addition to the author, the reader is also in dialogue with the text and the modern world while simultaneously drawing on the two. This course starts with a theme on “chains” as we look to writings of the 18th and 19th centuries, but the course will end in Afrofuturism—as a rumination. Perhaps African American literature is not only about the study of literature or poetics but also steeped within Afrofuturism. Better yet, let us turn to high priestess of soul Nina Simone in her reification of Work Song (Chain Gang): I’ve been working And working But I still got so terribly far to go.

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