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African-American Literature

ENGL 081.401
instructor(s):
fulfills requirements:
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

This course will familiarize students with canonical writers in the African American literary tradition, while at the same time examining how particular genres like the slave narrative and passing novels, certain political events such as the Great Migration and the Civil Rights Movement, and distinct themes like feminism, invisibility, and lynching, simultaneously resurface and change throughout African American literary history.   By pairing up texts by authors like Frederick Douglass and Octavia Butler; W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, and Gloria Naylor; Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker; and Ralph Ellison and Colson Whitehead, we will focus on questions of identity, citizenship, and freedom, and the tradition of African American writers and texts responding, revising, and riffing on their literary predecessors.


This course counts as an Cultural Diverstiy in U.S. course in the College's requirement.