UCL Institute of the Americas


AMER0077: Race and Resistance in Black Atlantic Thought

***NOT RUNNING IN 2023/24***


Tutor: Dr Kate Quinn

Level: 6

Credits: 30

Term: 1 and 2

This course examines the currents of thought developed by Black intellectuals and activists in the twentieth century ‘Black Atlantic’. Ranging from the Pan-Africanist movement of the early twentieth century to the anti-systemic critique offered by Rastafarianism in the 1960s and 1970s, the course explores key issues that animated thinking about the condition of the Black diaspora in the modern world. These include themes of individual and collective identity; colonialism and anti-colonialism; capitalism and socialism; racism and discrimination; and the relationship with Africa and the wider ‘Third World’. The course pays attention to the transnational dynamics stimulating the development of political thought in the Black diaspora, as well as the differences and tensions that fragmented unitary visions of global solidarity. Sources for the course include the key texts and speeches of the authors, and, where relevant, audio-visual sources (recorded speeches, documentary and music), State Department and FCO files.

Indicative topics:

The Black Atlantic and the Black Intellectual Tradition

W.E.B. Du Bois

Garvey and Garveyism

Blues Women

Claudia Jones


Frantz Fanon

Global Black Power

Black feminisms

Reggae and Rastafari



100% unseen written examination (3 hours)