WOST 392L
Fall 2002
Office Hours:
(Bartlett 7B)
Women of Color and Activism
MW: 3:35-4:50 p.m. - 212 Bartlett
Monday: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 11:00 a.m.-12:30 or by appt.
Professor Alex Deschamps
Fri: Discussion Sections
Telephone: 545-1958
Email: afd@wost.umass.edu

Course Description

Gendered and Raced experiences (within significant ethnic, class, sexuality, cross-cultural, and other situated experiences) have always shaped and continue to shape the ways in which Women of Color organize their political responses. This course will attempt to ground students in ways of organizing around various issues which continue to impact the lives of Women of Color. Hopefully, students will realize the urgency to build cross-race and cross class coalitions if any meaningful and successful transformative change is to happen nationally and globally. The term "Women of Color" is used to include the range of diversity within this group, giving autonomy to each group, yet building on the strengths of all the "different similarities".

   The course is organized around some major themes: (1) Theorizing Activist Strategies; (2) Women of Color theorizing, writing, and performing activism; (3) Women of Color, Violence, and Criminalization; (4) Women of Color and Health; (5) Building Alliances for Transformative Politics.

Course Requirements

Written Assignments, Examination, and Grading

Academic Honesty

My assumption is that students are generally honest. Necessary action will be taken against students who commit academic dishonesty in compliance with official guidelines. Read and familiarize yourselves with the Undergraduate Rights and Responsibilities booklet. We will discuss the use of Internet Resources.

Required Books

Ellen Cantarow:
Moving The Mountain: Women Working for Social Change. 1980. The Feminist Press.
Cherrie L. Moraga and Cloria E. Anzaldua:
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. 3rd edition, 2002. Third Woman Press.
Office of Research on Women's Health:
Women of Color Health Data Book. 2nd. Edition. National Institute of Health.
Color Lines, Winter 2000-01, Vol. 3, No. 4 and Summer 2002, Vol. 5, No. 2
Selected Handouts.

Books are available at Food For Thought Bookshop, North Pleasant Street, Amherst and also on reserve in the library.


Wed September 04

Women of Color Doing Feminist Activism

Syllabus, Course Requirements, Expectations, Introductory Exercises

Mon September 09

Library Resources - Calipari Room, Main Floor, DuBois Library

Readings:

Assigned - Oral History and WOC Web Resources

Theorizing Experiental Learning And Activist Strategies

Wed September 11

Florence Luscomb - Suffrage, Labor, and Peace

Readings:

{Text}-Ellen Cantarow, Time Line and Introduction & pp. 2-51.

Mon September 16

Ella Baker - Organizing for Civil Rights & Jessie Lopez De La Cruz - The Battle for Farmworkers' Rights

Group 1 - Computer Lab, DuBois Library

Group 2 - In class

Readings:

{Text}-Ellen Cantarow, pp. 52-93 & 94-151.

Wed September 18

Ella Baker - Organizing for Civil Rights & Jessie Lopez De La Cruz - The Battle for Farmworkers' Rights

Group 2 - Computer Lab, DuBois Library

Group 1 - In class

Readings:

{Text}-Ellen Cantarow, pp. 52-93 & 94-151.

Practicing Transgression - Radical Women Of Color For The 21st Century

Mon September 23

Writing and Speaking Activism - Theory in the Flesh

Assignment 1 Due

Readings:

{Text}-Anzaldua & Moraga, Roots of Our Radicalism, pp. 5-17 and Theory in the Flesh, pp. 21-60.

Wed September 25

Between the Lines, Across the Lines: Culture, Class, Homophobia

Readings:

{Text}-Anzaldua & Moraga, Between the Lines, pp. 113-177.

Mon September 30

Situated Knowledge

Group 1 - Computer Lab, DuBois Library

Group 2 - In class

Readings:

{Text}-Anzaldua & Moraga, Speaking in Tongues, pp. 183-213 and The Vision, pp. 217-275.

Wed October 02

Situated Knowledge

Group 2 - Computer Lab, DuBois Library

Group 1 - In class

Readings:

{Text}-Anzaldua & Moraga, Speaking in Tongues, pp. 183-213 and The Vision, pp. 217-275.

Mon October 07

Foundations

Assignment 2 Due

Readings:

{Handout}-Lisa Albrecht & Rose Brewer, Bridges of Power: Women's Multicultural Alliances for Social Change.

{Handout}-David J. Alperin, Social Diversity and the Necessity of Alliances: A Developing Feminist Perspective.

{Handout}-Gail Pheterson, Alliances Between Women: Overcoming Internalized Oppression and Internalized Domination..

{Handout}-Charlotte Bunch, Making Common Cause: Diversity and Coalitions.

Wed October 09

Building Alliances For Social Change and Transformative Politics

Readings:

{Handout}-Gloria Anzaldua, Bridge, Drawbridge, Sandbar or Island, Lesbians of Color Hacienda Alianzas.

{Text}-Anzaldua & Moraga, Preface, 1981, pp. xliv-li.

{Text}-Anzaldua & Moraga, A Sacred Thing That Takes us Home, pp. 279-287.

{Text}-Anzaldua & Moraga, Refugees of a World on Fire: Foreword to the Second Edition, pp. 346-350.

Mon October 14

Holiday - Columbus Day

The Color of Violence

Wed October 16

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence

Readings:

{Handout}-Angela Davis, The Color of Violence Against Women, Keynote Address at the Color of Violence conference in Sana Cruz.

{Handout}-Andrea Smith, Colors of Violence, in Color Lines, Winter 2002-01.

Mon October 21

Web Research - INCITE

Group 1 - Computer Lab, DuBois Library

Group 2 - In class

Readings:

[Text]-Color Lines, Selected Articles.

Wed October 23

Web Research - INCITE

Group 2 - Computer Lab, DuBois Library

Group 1 - In class

Readings:

[Text]-Color Lines, Selected Articles.

Mon October 28

Reports - INCITE Research

Assignment 3 Due - Student Reports

Wed October 30

Invited Panel - Women of Color Against Violence

Readings:

Selected Handouts.

Mon November 04

Race, Gender and Criminalization

Readings:

{Handout}-Judith A. M. Scully, Killing the Black Community: A Commentary on the United States War on Drugs.

{Handout}-Andrea Smith, Better Dead than Pregnant: The Colonization of Native Women's Reproductive Health.

{Handout}-Syd Lindsley, The Gendered Assault on Immigrants.

Wed November 06

Critical Resistance to the Prison Industrial Complex

Assignment 4 Due

Readings:

Students will choose their own selections (three articles) from the website: www.criticalresistance.org

Mon November 11

Holiday - Veteran's Day

Women of Color and Health

Wed November 13

Factors Affecting The Health of Women of Color

Readings:

{Text}-Women of Color Health Data Book, pp. 1-42.

Mon November 18

Health Assessment of Women of Color - 1

Readings:

{Text}-Women of Color Health Data Book, pp. 55-90.

Wed November 20

Health Assessment of Women of Color - 2

Readings:

{Text}-Women of Color Health Data Book, pp. 91-116.

Mon November 25

Issues Related To Improving the Health of Women of Color

Student Debate

Take Home Examination Due

Readings:

{Text}-Women of Color Health Data Book, pp. 127-136.

Wed November 27

Thanksgiving Recess Starts

Mon December 02

Project Learnings and Summaries

Last Date for Out of Class Event Paper

Readings:

Student Handouts.

Wed December 04

Project Learnings and Summaries

Readings:

Student Handouts.

Mon December 09

Project Learnings and Summaries

Readings:

Student Handouts.

Wed December 11

Shared Strategies for Student Activism and Transformative Politics

Individual Project Summaries Due