The course will examine critical and theoretical issues surrounding "autobiography" and "Afro-American." Questions of production will be important, as will questions of genre and identity politics. Nothing will be taken for granted about the status of the texts we shall explore. Neither their rank as classics, nor their traditional identification as "black" or "Afro-American" will be considered given. Class discussion is of the utmost importance and counts heavily toward the course grade. Each participant will be expected to report to the group on one or more of the texts we shall read. There will be two papers--one short (7-8 pages) and one long (15-25 pages). Texts will range from Douglass's slave narrative to Cary's Black Ice and McCall's Make Me Want to Holler.
This course is open to advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor.