2022 TASS-CBS Programs

2022 TASS-CBS Programs

Our TASS-CBS programs will be held in 2022, between June 26 and August 6.

You can read about the 2022 seminars by clicking on the tabs below.

Cornell – CBS (Junior)

Black Freedom Beyond Borders

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

June 26 – August 6, 2022

Faculty: Russell Rickford and Mukoma Wa Ngugi, Cornell University

Factotums: TBA

Seminar Description: When an African and an African American meet, solidarity is often presumed. Yet the complex history of African and African American encounters belies simplistic notions of an essential or “natural” relationship between the two populations. In this course, we will consider how Africans and African Americans have envisioned and interacted with each other over the course of the 20th century.

This seminar rests on the idea that the meaning of the African and African American encounter is never fixed or settled, and must be reimagined and reconstructed by every generation of African and African American thinkers. Awareness of Africa and attitudes toward the continent and its peoples have profoundly shaped African American identity, culture and political consciousness. At the same time, Africans have long been compelled to define and redefine their relationship to black America. Stereotypes and myths on both sides have complicated efforts to establish (or reestablish) bonds between the two groups. However, neither group has escaped the proposition that their fate was tied, at least in part, to that of the other. 

Examining how Africans and African Americans have constructed notions of commonality and difference as they regarded—and occasionally encountered—each other reveals a rich body of social, cultural and political thought. We will explore some of this material using the lenses of history and literature. We will consider the part historical forces such as slavery, colonialism and pan-Africanism played in shaping how African and African American writers, artists, activists and travelers have understood the African and African American relationship. We will analyze the work of figures such as Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Adichie, Richard Wright, Eugene Robinson, Philippe Wamba, and Malcolm X. We will also study music, poetry and film. This multidisciplinary approach will enable us to contemplate such concepts as “homeland,” “citizenship,” “kinship,” “exile,” “return” and “reunion” in African and African American traditions. This course will prepare students to contemplate the meaning of human solidarities, past and present.

Maryland – CBS (Sophomore)

Artist as Activist: Black Literature and Visual Art in the 20th Century

University of Maryland, College Park

June 26 – August 6, 2022

Faculty: Jordana Saggese and GerShun Avilez, University of Maryland

Factotums: TBA

Seminar Description: This course will explore Black experience, thought, and communities through creative culture, focusing particularly on artistic and literary production in the twentieth century. Organized chronologically, this class will provide students with a more thorough understanding of the overall connection of this material to the social, the political, and the aesthetic frames of its production. We will study the ways in which Black visual and literary productions have been shaped by larger discourses about American culture, but have also responded to the very real circumstances of racist exclusion. Students will ultimately investigate the construction of race as a category for the interpretation of these works, as well as the role and responsibility of the Black artist in times of political revolution. As a project-focused course, students will also be exposed to the cultural resources that UMD and the Washington, DC Metro region have to offer. We will take field trips and create collaborative projects to explore the content of the course in real time and space. 

Michigan – CBS (Junior)

Black Geographies: Race, Place, and Space in Space

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

June 26 – August 6, 2022

Faculty: Tasneem Siddiqui and James Pope, Winston-Salem State University

Factotums: TBA

Seminar Description: This course is designed to engage students with questions addressing the relationship between Black expressive culture, collective/everyday resistance, and uneven geographies. This course will introduce students to the field of Black geographies as theorized by scholars Katherine McKittrick and Clyde Woods. Black geographies seek to consider what kind of possibilities emerge when a critical Black studies perspective encounters critical geography. That is to ask, what happens when we engage questions about the convergence of place, power, and difference? Students will therefore examine the global intersections between race/gender/class, Blackness, and spatial politics in the African world to reveal the various ways Black/Africana populations produce, know, and negotiate space through and against processes of dispossession/displacement, enslavement/exploitation, containment, and (neo)colonialism and (neo)imperialism. Throughout the summer students will be introduced to a range of multidisciplinary conceptualizations that attempt to render visible the locations of Black/Africana history, selfhood, imagination, and resistance. We will ask ourselves, what are Black geographies? How do Black/Africana populations create and give meaning to space, place, and time? Why is space, place, and time so important? How are Black/Africana populations implicated in the production of space and produce a Black/Africana “sense of place”? In what ways do they bring into focus responses to geographic domination? How are Black/Africana histories, identities, cultures, conditions of resistance, imaginations, and life potentials attached to and affected by place? Finally, what is the imperative for a project of Black geographies? What types of knowledges—alternative socialities, social explanations and social actions, intellectual and aesthetic traditions—emerge to articulate praxis for realizing global social justice and give birth to a (re)new(ed) society, to new futures? To attend to the complex movements of Africana peoples, histories, intellectual, and sociopolitical formations, our praxis (theory and practice) will engage (however, not be limited to): Africana Indigenous knowledge systems, Caribbean intellectual traditions, Black British cultural studies, and Black Studies in the Americas.