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History & Memory in Black Women's Writings

ENGL 290.402
instructor(s):
TR 12-1:30

In this seminar, we will be concerned with the ways in which African American women have used their literatures not only to re-write the history of African Americans' enslavement, but also to rewrite the history of black community, of black families, of black women. Thus, in this seminar we will critically examine texts which present as revisionist counter-narratives - narratives which aim to speak the "unspeakable" and the "unspoken" - with our primary focus being the manner in which these texts engage (uphold, manipulate, undermine, deconstruct) the conventional history/memory dichotomy. Writers will likely include Harriet Wilson, Lydia Maria Child, Pauline Hopkins, Margaret Walker, Willa Cather, Toni Morrison, and Octavia Butler, among others.