#AllLivesMatter?: Historical and Contemporary Protest in the U.S.

According to its creators, the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag was created after the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin “as a response to the anti-Black racism that permeates our society” and as “an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.” In response, #AllLivesMatter was created more informally to counter what many felt was an exclusionary focus on Black lives at the expense of others, gaining popularity after utterances from Canadian singing group The Tenors, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and author Terry McMillan, and many others. This, however, is just one example of the debates that ensue regarding the causes and consequences of various forms of protest, especially that which is entrenched in discourses about race, gender, sexuality, and other social, cultural, and political markers. Focusing primarily on Feminist and Critical Media Studies, this course allows students to examine mediated constructions of and debates about protests as early as Nat Turner’s revolt in 1831 and as recently as the anti-fascism protests at the University of California-Berkeley in August 2017. (Summer only 2022-23).

.75 units

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