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Fall 2017


ASCP 81500: Themes in American Culture: The Black Freedom Movement in the US, Wednesday, 2:00-4:00pm, Room 6494, 3 credits, Professor Robyn Spencer

The emergence of the movement for Black Lives in the past 5 years has moved racial justice in America to center stage and resulted in wide scale re-examination of the impact and legacy of the Black freedom movement of the post WWII period. This course will examine the major campaigns, personalities, organizations and guiding themes of the civil rights and Black Power movement.  In particular, we will analyze the major historical interpretive debates about the Civil Rights/Black Power movements and place the movements in the broader context of Cuban independence, the Cold War, the US war in Vietnam and  African liberation movements. A close examination of the intersections between the Black freedom movement and the new left, women’s movement, and anti-war movement will broaden how the movement is traditionally conceptualized and foreground the movement’s anti-capitalist, anti-patriarchal and anti-imperial engagements. We will also examine the afterlives and historical memory of these movements and how they continue to animate the contemporary political landscape.


Instead of producing the usual long lists of courses that will count towards the certificate, we have set up a new system:

Students taking courses offered through other units that are appropriate to ASCP 81500/Themes in American Culture or ASCP 82000/American Culture: Major Periods, may have them counted toward completion of the certificate program by sending the course details (name, title, instructor(s), and course description) to