Popular Representations of Black Masculinity

AAAS 338

AAAS 338-01: Images of Black Masculinity.
The late Muhammad Ali may have been the most recognizable Black Man of the 20th Century, in no small part due to the fact that he was one of the most photographed sports figures of the 20th Century.  Ali’s own investment in curating his own image, contributed to the development of his iconic status.  What Images of Black Masculinity will consider are the ways that images of Iconic Black Men, particularly male athletes,  circulated in American and Global culture through photography, visual culture and film, and contributed to their “larger-than-life” status, becoming frameworks and contexts for which Black masculinity has historically been read, interpreted, and revised and critique in the context of “Female Masculinity” and the fluidity of identity.


The course will examine the production and circulation of representations of 'Black Masculinity' in post-19th century American culture, within popular realms of expression including film, visual culture, music videos, advertising, popular music, television, drama and stage, literature, and dance/performance. The course will also explore the ways stereotypical images of Black masculinity have impacted public policy perceptions of African Americans and the ways that Black cultural producers have used Black masculinity as sites to stage alternative perceptions of Black humanity.
Curriculum Codes
  • CCI
  • ALP
Cross-Listed As
  • ENGLISH 380
  • VMS 340
Typically Offered
Fall and/or Spring