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New Directions in Black Thought and Literature

ENGL 770.401
crosslisted as: AFRC 770
W 3-6:00

This team-taught graduate seminar will be a full immersion in the latest, most cutting-edge waves of 21st century black studies. Paradigm-shifting critical texts and literary works, published in the last two decades, will be our focus. An intentionally disorderly curation will allow us to explore the most current and nuanced approaches to black movements, black experimentalism, black trans theory, afro-pessimism, black abstraction, black diasporic thought and practices, among others. This “state of the field” seminar will provide a generative lack of any stable ground to push students to think about the conceptual and archival work that remains to be done (the new directions that graduate students need to chart as they begin to think about the type of interventions they hope to make in this vibrant field). Readings may include literary works like Edwidge Danticat’s Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, Toni Morrison’s The Origin of Others, Evie Shockley’s The New Black, Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, as well as critical works like Achille Mbembe’s Critique of Black Reason, Fred Moten’s Black and Blur, and L.H. Stallings’ Funk the Erotic.