ENGL 4508

ENGL 4508

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2022-2023.

In this course, we will explore the literature and history of Harlem, beginning with an examination of James Weldon Johnson's Black Manhattan and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts's Harlem is Nowhere.  We will go on to explore selected literatures of the Harlem Renaissance by reading authors such as Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston.  Though the dates and even the very notion of the period itself are open to debate, the Harlem Renaissance peaked during the 1920s in the wake of the Great Migration to the urban North, and declined with the onset of the Great Depression.  We will consider overlapping literary movements that shaped the Harlem Renaissance profoundly, from modernism to Negritude.  This movement established important foundations for the contemporary black art scene in New York City and the development of major institutions such as the Apollo Theater, the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.  Because it encompassed a range of other art forms and media beyond literature, such as painting, photography, and music, we will explore the work of noted photographers of the period from Carl Van Vechten to James Van Der Zee, artists such as Aaron Douglas, William H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, Archibald Motley, and Palmer Hayden, and musicians such as Duke Ellington and Bessie Smith.  We will read selected writings on Harlem from Malcolm X, Ralph Ellison and Chester Himes, and study the recent fictions by Mat Johnson, Colson Whitehead, Sapphire, Karla FC Holloway and A'Lelia Bundles.  We will draw on a range of media and technology, including resources based at the Library of Congress such as "Drop Me Off in Harlem" and "Guide to Harlem Renaissance Materials," along with contemporary photographic projects such as Gayatri Spivak and Alice Attie's Harlem and Harlem:  A Century in Images by Deborah Willis and several co-authors.  

When Offered Spring.

Distribution Category (LA-AS)

View Enrollment Information

Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session.  Combined with: ASRC 4508

  • 3 Credits Graded

  • 17393 ENGL 4508   SEM 101

    • TR Uris Hall 398
    • Jan 23 - May 9, 2023
    • Richardson, R

  • Instruction Mode: In Person