Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies

This subject examines a succession of pivotal events that came to define Haiti and its Caribbean neighbors, in which language was often used as “technology for domination or liberation.” Haiti will serve as a starting point for larger questions regarding Africa and the African diaspora, especially in the Caribbean. One such question is: What do theories about languages (and cultures) of the Caribbean reveal about the making of race- and class-related hierarchies of power throughout the world? Attending to linguistic usages, we will also touch upon education, history, music, religion, literature, etc., to examine how theories and concomitant attitudes about Caribbean languages (and cultures) have shaped, and have been shaped by, global events through struggle, rebellion, critique, and innovation.