In a core course on The Challenge of Modernity,
Professor Kay Johnston and her students compare W.E.B. DuBois' The Soul of
Black Folks, written in 1903, with Cornel West's contemporary work, Race
Matters. "The market, morality and media come up again and again in West,"
said Johnston. "DuBois was writing about similar issues -- and both focus on
the way the US does or doesn't take on issues of race. DuBois was writing to a
white audience. West is less conciliatory. Throughout the course we think about
how different texts respond to each other, and how we respond to the texts.
This combination of DuBois and West was a very stimulating conversation."