ASRC 6513

ASRC 6513

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2021-2022.

Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison received her M.A. in English at Cornell University in 1955.  To study her, in a way, is to gain a deeper understanding of how she journeyed on from her days as a student here to become one of the world's greatest writers, how she has helped to transform world literature, and how she has shaped Cornell's great legacy through the phenomenal one that she has built.  In this course, we will engage in close and reflective critical readings of Toni Morrison's eleven novels.  Morrison's writing style is characterized by highly distinctive strategies in the development of narrative and in the use of language.  As we journey across her body of work as readers, we will examine a range of recurring themes, along with the "love trilogy" on which she focused her repertoire for several years.  The course, through a comprehensive, chronological and focused look at Morrison's body of novels, will help students who entirely lack familiarity with it to gain a strong foundation for further research and study.  By the end of the course, even students who already know Morrison's work will walk away with a deeper and more nuanced critical understanding of it.  The course will help students to reinforce their skills in reading fiction, and help them to become more astute and exacting readers of the novel as a genre.  Morrison's novels have placed her at the vanguard of the globalization of the novel itself, and she is, undisputedly, one the most famous and innovative writers in the world.  Moreover, her thinking is so original and pivotal that her fiction and critical works are absolutely indispensable for all serious students and scholars in fields such as American literature.  Its impact on African American literature is equally vital.  We will focus on reading the repertoire of novels by Morrison, including The Bluest Eye, Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), Tar Baby (1981), Beloved (1987), Jazz (1992), Paradise (1998), Love (2003), A Mercy (2008) Home (2012), and God Help the Child (2014).  We will screen selected scenes from the 1998 film adaptation of her novel Beloved, along with the documentary on Morrison, The Pieces I Am (2019).  

When Offered Fall.

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Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •  8318ASRC 6513  SEM 101

  • Instruction Mode: In Person