Exploring Womanist Perspectives: A Practice in Solidarity, 4.00 cr.
Spring Quarter 2022
Fridays (biweekly, besides final meeting), 11am-1pm MT
Instructor: Dr. Elyse Ambrose
Office Hours: https://calendly.com/elyseambrose
Course Description: This course examines womanist theory and practice in response to evil and suffering, and toward hope and communal thriving. Despite patriarchy, anti-black racism, heterosexism and cissexism, and violations of our natural world, womanist perspectives offer theological and ethical counters to death-dealing structures toward life and liberation for black women and all oppressed peoples. This course offers an opportunity for students to engage womanism with an aim toward exploring how a practicable and intellectual commitment to solidarity with womanist scholarship and praxis might be embodied for collective healing and wholeness.
Required Texts: (These books should not far exceed $100 in total; please let me know if any book exceeds $40)
• A Troubling in My Soul: Womanist Perspectives on Evil and Suffering, edited by Emilie M. Townes (1993)
• Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective, by Kelly Brown Douglas (1999)
• Deeper Shades of Purple: Womanism in Religion and Society, edited by Stacey Floyd-Thomas (2006)
• Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology, by Pamela Lightsey (2015)
• Ecowomanism: African American Women and Earth-Honoring Faiths, by Melanie L. Harris (2017)
• Additional readings (articles, chapters, websites) posted as the course progresses
Students should expect to read 120-150 pages per week.
Course Meeting Dates and Link:
This course has both synchronous and asynchronous requirements.
Synchronous Meeting Dates:
April 1, April 22, May 6, May 20, May 27
Asynchronous Meeting via Discussion Post:
April 8, April 29, May 13
- Participation (e.g., in-class discussions, discussion board, small group work): 60% (7.5 points each)
Note that regular, substantive, and prompt participation and activity online (synchronously and asynchronously) is required for successful completion of the course.
On the dates designated above, we will meet as a collective to engage in learning with and from one another, centering on the week’s theme. Your active participation is essential to your gaining from this course, as well as your participation points. If you have an unexcused absence on Zoom, credit will not be granted.
Each week, students shall engage the weekly readings and resources. A Discussion Post must be made on the dates indicated above. The Discussion Post prompt will be available every Monday by 12pm MT. Please post in the weekly Discussion Forum by Friday, 11:59pm MT of the week that the discussion prompt was offered. You are responsible for offering a response to at least two students’ posts in the Discussion Forum by Sunday, 11:59pm MT of the week that the discussion prompt was offered. As we are co-creating a learning community, please plan to post in a timely manner so that your classmates do not miss out on the opportunity to engage with you. Posts that are late (not submitted by Friday, 11:59pm and Sunday, 11:59pm as indicated above) will earn less participation points. I encourage you to complete these two aspects of participation on two separate days so that you can have time to reflect. Additionally, I encourage you to take a day off for your wellness and for the sake of balance.
The criteria for responding to a post or your colleague is quality-based, not quantity-based. Your responses to your colleagues, like your response to the readings, are to reflect critical engagement with the thoughts presented. Seek to make associations, respectfully analyze the perspective shared, demonstrate an understanding of the materials, ask hypothetical questions of the writers and questions for clarity, and even imagine beyond what is presented.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 236 231 6294
One tap mobile
+16468769923,,2362316294# US (New York)
+13017158592,,2362316294# US (Washington DC)
Dial by your location
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 236 231 6294
Find your local number: https://meadville-edu.zoom.us/u/kc7FtW3Qkc
- Observation Reflection on Womanist Ways (10%) - Due Apr 14 (2 page reflection paper; details forthcoming)
- Final Assignment (30%)- Due June 3 (details forthcoming)
Let’s do our best and grace may abound. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the instructor if you have an emergency that requires you to miss a deadline. If you need an extension you may make a request. The granting of the request is at the Professor’s discretion. Late work will be penalized. Assignments received more than two weeks past the original due date (unless cleared with the instructor in advance and an alternate deadline negotiated) will be given a grade of 0/F. Incompletes will not be given except in the case of an unanticipated emergency and at the instructor’s discretion.
It is my desire that communication be a cornerstone of our relationship as professor and student. I aim to respond to all emails or other messages within 48 hours with the understanding that we each are balancing schedules that preclude immediate and on-call availability. If you are experiencing any challenges in this course or in any area of your life that has implications for your well-doing in this course, I ask that this be communicated with me as soon as possible so that we can collaborate for your academic success. Please be mindful that the sooner we are aware, the sooner we can address the concern.
The syllabus page shows a table-oriented view of the course schedule, and the basics of course grading. You can add any other comments, notes, or thoughts you have about the course structure, course policies or anything else.
To add some comments, click the "Edit" link at the top.