CSPAN crew records UW Bothell African-American history class

By Douglas Esser

A CSPAN crew was on the University of Washington Bothell campus Thursday to film a class for one of its American History TV programs.

CSPAN selected the Introduction to African-American Studies (BIS256) taught by Dan Berger, assistant professor in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

CSPAN says it will air in late March or early April on its Lectures in History series. It invites viewers to “join students in college classrooms to hear lectures on topics ranging from the American Revolution to 9-11.”

"In the Intro to African-American studies we've been talking about a lot of current events and how the histories and social movements of African-Americans are continuing to inform contemporary policies in the U.S., and so the chance to be able to bring something like this discussion of mass incarceration, origins of mass incarceration to the class but then to have that class be broadcast nationally is a very exciting way to continue the spirit of the class, the spirit of Intro to African-American Studies as a nationally significant engagement with a series of cutting-edge issues," Berger said.

Berger is the author of “Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era.” He says his research is interested in bottoms-up explorations of identity, politics, activism and the state.

Berger says he sees his role as a teacher in helping students think critically and creatively – about both course material and society at large.