AAST 263:
African American
Intellectual History


Course Description

African American intellectual history is often framed as an ongoing debate between two competing and seemingly irreconcilable positions, i.e., between an assimilationist and a nationalist impulse. Although this division has a clear heuristic value, its intellectual validity is not as self-evident as we might have once presumed. This course introduces African American intellectual history by reading against the grain of this dominant interpretation. We will seek to ask what is invested in this reading of the tradition? What does it obscure? How does it function to reproduce the dominant discourse of African American experience? Focusing on key writings and debates from the 1850s to the 1960s we will attempt to outline a different narrative of African American intellectual history.

More about this class!

Please click on image below:

Ainsworth Clarke
Assistant Professor of African American Studies & English

Contact Info

Office: 1205 UH
Email: ac57@uic.edu

Curriculum Vitae


What Does African American American Studies Mean to You?

"I think it is great and la la la la la la la la la" --​​Ainsworth Clarke

Course Information

3 hours. Same as HIST 263. Prerequisite(s): AAST 100.

Requirements Met

Individual and Society course 
Past Society course
Required for Major

When is it Offered?

Spring Semester