- Schedule of Classes - May 15, 2021 7:14PM EDT
- Course Catalog - May 15, 2021 7:15PM EDT
Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2020-2021.
One way to think of African American literature is to recognize that certain themes and motifs recur and tell a story that one can study across time from slavery to freedom. Solid literacies in this field not only provide valuable interpretive contexts for analyzing various aspects of African American and diasporan life and culture, but can reinforce work in a range of other fields, from Africana studies to American literature. Additionally, they reinforce skills in reading and analysis of literature, as well as writing, that will pay off now and as time goes on. We will examine selections from authors in African American literary history from the 18th century into the 1930s. Authors who will be examined include Phillis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass, David Walker, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Wilson, Charles Chesnutt, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, James Weldon Johnson, Jean Toomer, Nella Larsen, and Langston Hughes. The production of early African American literature was grounded in genres such as poetry, the novel, the short story, the slave narrative, the spiritual narrative, and autobiography, all of which will be explored. It will be especially important for us to recognize the foundational contributions of African Americans to such fiction genres as the short story and the novel by the 1850s, forming a renaissance of sorts. Additionally, we will consider the impact of oral forms on African American writing such as spirituals and folk tales. We will consider the development of African American literature across a range of historical contexts, including the Revolutionary/Enlightenment period, the antebellum period, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the Harlem Renaissance/Jazz Age.
When Offered Spring.
Distribution Category (LA-AS)
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