Jessyka Finley

C3 Post-Doctoral Fellow in American Studies

 Spring 2016: Monday and Wednesday 12:00-2:00 and by appointment
 Axinn Center at Starr Library 244



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

AMST0107 - Intro African American Culture      

Introduction to African American Culture
In this introductory survey we will focus on the study of African American culture in the United States, exploring various aspects of cultural production such as literature, music, visual arts, film, and performance. The guiding questions of the course are: what role has black culture played in shaping and responding to broader paradigms in American culture? How is lived experience implicated in the production of black culture? How have cultural products helped define, call into question, and celebrate “blackness?” Readings may include W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk (1903), Octavia Butler’s Kindred (1979), and Tricia Rose’s Black Noise (1994). 3 hrs. lect./disc. NOR

Fall 2016

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AMST0204 / GSFS0204 - Black Comic Cultures      

Black Comic Cultures
In this course we will explore a range of black comic cultures, analyzing their emergence and transformation from the early 20th century to the present. Specifically, we will examine blackface minstrels of the early 20th century such as George Walker and Bert Williams, Bill Cosby’s performances in the 60s, and the ribald humor of LaWanda Page’s 1970s party records, before moving to the urban scene embodied in television shows such as Def Comedy Jam. We will also engage with theoretical materials that help us analyze black comedy as multidimensional, such as John Limon’s Stand-up Comedy in Theory, or, Abjection in America. 3 hrs. lect. NOR SOC

Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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AMST0208 / GSFS0208 - Black Womanhood/Pop. Culture      

Unruly Bodies: Black Womanhood in Popular Culture
In this course we will examine representations of black womanhood in popular culture, analyzing the processes by which bodies and identities are constructed as dangerous, deviant, and unruly. For example, materials will include the work of bell hooks and Patricia Hill Collins to analyze the imagery of black womanhood propagated by the television shows The Jerry Springer Show and Bad Girls Club. By contrast, we will also read Saidiya Hartman’s Scenes of Subjection as a lens through which to view “bad” black womanhood as a radically stylized means of redress in the Blaxploitation-era film Foxy Brown. 3 hrs. lect. CMP NOR

Spring 2015, Fall 2016

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AMST0348 / SOAN0348 - Black Ethnography      

Writing Black Worlds: Race and the Practice of Ethnography
How do we translate the lived experience of “being black in America” into a text? What does it mean, as Catherine Cole has described, to make “ethno” into “graphic”? In this seminar we will investigate the relationships among race, gender, and ethnographic writing. We will engage in ethnographic research techniques including interviews, performance observation, oral history, and participant-observation. Text may include all or portions of W.E.B. DuBois’s The Philadelphia Negro (1899), John L. Jackson, Jr.’s Real Black: Adventures in Racial Sincerity (2005), and Nikki Jones’s Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner-city Violence (2009). (Any 0100 level course in AMST or GSFS or SOAN) (Sociology) SOC

Spring 2016

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AMST0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017

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AMST0710 - Honors Thesis      

Honors Thesis
For students who have completed AMST 0705, and qualify to write two-credit interdisciplinary honors thesis. on some aspect of American culture. The thesis may be completed on a fall/winter schedule or a fall/spring schedule. (Select a thesis advisor prior to registration)

Spring 2016

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Program in American Studies

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753