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Women and Literature: Intro. to African American Women

ENGL 090.401

This course will examine the ways in which the Middle Passage functions as an over-arching, transhistorical consciousness throughout 19th and 20th century African American women's writing. We will explore the literary depictions of psychological and physical movements away from the traumas of the Middle Passage. And, we will seek to understand how those voyages emerge as enduring motifs for the African American literary tradition. The readings will include Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl (Harriet Jacobs), Contending Forces (Pauline Hopkins), Quicksand (Nella Larsen), Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston) and The Gilda Stories (Jewell Gomez).