HC444H/431H: Decolonizing Knowledge & Power: The Black Radical Tradition as a Counter-Catastrophic Social Science

Professor: George Barganier

4.00 credits

  • CRN 21103: Friday, 1000-1250 @ SYNCRONOUS REMOTE

Graduation Requirement:  This class will fulfill a Social Science Colloquium and a US: Difference, Inequality, Agency (US) area of inquiry requirement.  If the student has already taken a Social Science Colloquium, this class will fulfill both of the following requirements:  an Elective Colloquium and a US area of inquiry.

This is an intensive seminar on the Black Radical Tradition.

This course takes a decolonial, transdisciplinary approach to the study of knowledge and power and considers possible modes of intervention to confront the problems around inequality in society. Our understanding of inequality inherently depends upon our understanding of the entangled social production of global social hierarchies such as race, gender, class and sexuality. And this question, in turn, raises broader questions about the nature of society, economics, and politics. Accordingly, this class is intended to introduce you to a number of ways of understanding the intersection of knowledge production and structures of power. Grounded in engagement with the oppressed, we will ultimately seek to open space for articulating new possibilities for decolonizing knowledge and power. Thus, our interrogation of inequality in society centers around questions of justice, ethics and human suffering.

This course covers the seminal methodological and theoretical issues related to questions of racial inequality posed by the Black Radical Tradition. We will consider the politics of knowledge generation, who generates which knowledge and for what purpose; and its relationship to practices of domination and resistance. We will interrogate the historical origins of these practices and their function in society and ponder the role race plays in larger structures of domination and resistance in our search to imagine more humane forms of social life.


This course is offered through the CHC's Visiting Fellowship in Equity, Justice, and Inclusion program, through which award-winning teachers and scholars from around the country offer unique courses that enrich the CHC's curricular offerings related to social justice. The inaugural theme for 2021-23 is the Black Experience in the United States. Learn more about the CHC's Visiting Fellowship program

Visiting Fellow George Barganier is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Studies at San Francisco State University. Learn more about Professor Barganier.

This course will be offered in an online synchronous format (i.e., over Zoom).