WOMGEN 1278 Interracial Intimacy: Sex, Race, and Romance in the U.S.





Marya T. Mtshali
Tuesday, 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm

What assumptions about race and sex are embedded in the term “interracial,” and why are different types of interracial relationships viewed differently? How did White fears of relationships between Black men and White women influence the creation of the Ku Klux Klan? How did the story of Pocahontas influence the development of a settler colonial state?  This course investigates the significance of interracial intimate relations throughout United States history and through the lens of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Although interracial intimate relations (consensual and non-consensual) predate the nation’s founding, they have been considered taboo throughout most of American history. From Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, we will analyze how social perceptions of these relationships shift over time, as well as the economic and legal implications of interracial intimacy in the construction of the U.S. as a nation-state.