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Topics in African-American Literature: Venus Rising: Fiction, Criticism and Theory by Black Women

ENGL 281.401
instructor(s):
TR 3-4:30

This seminar is an introduction to the diverse concerns of contemporary literature, criticism and theory written by black women from throughout the African Diaspora.  Each unit will start with a work of fiction, poetry, (and perhaps photography of film) and then go on to explore importnt critical and theoretical essays that share the concerns of the creative texts.  However, throughout the course our readings will challenge such strident boundaries between creative, critical and theoretical.  Questions of history, narrative, memory and resistance will guide our discussion of each reading.  Students will keep a weekly writing journal, write four short esssays and work on a group project. Readings are selected from the following writers:  Toni Morrison, Toni Cade Bambara, Michelle Cliff, Opal Palmer Adisa, Mariama Ba, Ama Ata Aidoo, Abena Busia, Carol Boyce Davies, Mae Henderson, Saidiya Hartmann, Hortense Spillers, Deborah McDowell, Karla
Holloway, Ann Du Cille, and Valerie Smith.