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Topics in Women and Literature

ENGL 290.402
TR 9-10:30

Over the last thirty years, feminist and Afro-Americanist literary and cultural critics have developed a series of persuasive and illuminating interpretive positions and strategies that have helped to transform scholarly approaches to the study of black and/or female -- as well as white and/or male -- authored literature. Reading seven Afro-American women's texts produced or popularized during the last three decades of the 20th century in conjunction with selected examples of this scholarship, we will attempt in this course to see how, and in what ways, our attentiveness to such topics as "minority" subjectivity, agency, trauma, and textual production helps us to better understand works by such writers as Zora Neale Hurston (THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD), Toni Morrison (THE BLUEST EYE), Gayl Jones (CORREGIODORA), Octavia Butler (KINDRED), and "literary" filmmakers like Julie Dash (DAUGHTER OF THE DUST) and Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou). Course requirements: two papers (of 5 and 8-10 pages in length), weekly writing, and a take-home final examination.