Sources: Shifting the Paradigm

Online Sources

Du Bois Institute

The W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University is the country’s oldest research center of African and African-American history and culture. Check it out for webcasts of influential lectures, papers and reports, and links to other resources, such as Harvard’s Hip-Hop Archive.


This popular blog hosts a range of feminist and pro-feminist writing, video, and other content that will add lively conversation to any section on feminist theory.

Muslims in America

Andrea Elliott’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series for the New York Times about a mosque in Brooklyn is an excellent companion to Said’s Orientalism.

PBS Global Connections

This website includes educational resources, timelines, and maps on the cultures, politics, and economics of the Middle East.

Race: The Power of an Illusion

The PBS series, Race: The Power of an Illusion, and its companion website provide a boatload of useful information on race as a social, political, and economic construct.

Racism Review

An excellent blog maintained by sociologists Joe Feagin and Jessie Daniels that provides superb analysis and well-vetted information on a range of issues related to race and racism, including a list of films to be used in the classroom.

Film and Television Sources

Black in Latin America

This PBS series follows Henry Louis Gates, Jr., as he explores the role of colonialism in the making of race and identity in Latin America. Full episodes and additional content are available online.

New Muslim Cool

This compelling documentary traces the life of Puerto Rican rapper Hamza Pérez, a former drug dealer who converts to Islam and moves to Pittsburgh in search of faith and empowerment in a post-9/11 world. A great example of the complex intersections among race, class, religion, and nationality.

The Battle of Algiers

Gillo Pontecorvo’s powerful film about the 1950s struggle of Algerian independence provides many vivid examples of colonial subjugation as well as important context for Fanon’s White Skin, Black Masks. The scenes of Algerian women cutting their hair so they can pass French checkpoints and plant bombs in French cafés are particularly striking. Click here for more information.


A film portraying the rise and assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the first legally elected prime minister of the Republic of Congo after the country won its independence from colonial Belgium. An intriguing portrayal of postcolonial struggle and politics. Click here for more information.


A beautifully animated film that poignantly and humorously explores the intersections of gender, religion, and nationality. Click here for more information.


Based on real-life events, this film tells the story of a black girl born to white parents in 1950s apartheid South Africa. Provides a profound illustration of the struggles of living a life defined by racial double-consciousness.

Reading Sources

Achebe, Chinua. 1996 [1958]. Things Fall Apart. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Educational.

Details the life and times of Okonkwo, a leader of the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. A famous piece of postcolonial literature from one of Africa’s most acclaimed novelists.

Collins, Patricia Hill. 2005. Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism. London: Routledge.

Collins investigates the intersection of sexuality, race, and gender and calls for a progressive gender politics in this powerful book.

Connell, R. W. 1997. “Why is Classical Theory Classical?” American Journal of Sociology 102(6): 1511–1557.

This provocative article traces the roots of the sociological canon to the colonial project, which Connell argues came “at the price of narrowing sociology’s intellectual scope and concealing much of its history.” Essential reading for anyone interested in the creation of theoretical paradigms (or the shifting of them).

Frankenberg, Ruth. 1993. White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

An influential and groundbreaking study of the relationship between white privilege and gender relations.

Haraway, Donna. 1991. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. London: Routledge.

This collection of essays by the science historian and feminist scholar traces her move from Marxist analysis to postmodern theory and “posthumanism.” Her influential essay, “A Cyborg Manifesto,” calls for feminists to move beyond essentialism and a call to nature.

Smith, Dorothy E. 1993. Texts, Facts, and Femininity. London: Routledge.

This collection of essays by the feminist theorist looks at how texts construct social relations. Included is her famous work, “K Is Mentally Ill: The Anatomy of a Factual Account”.

Stoler, Ann Laura. 1995. Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things. Durham, NC: Duke University Press

A creative and critical extension of Foucault’s thought on sexuality into the race and gender hierarchies of colonialism.