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African-American Literature

ENGL 081.900
instructor(s):
W 5-8:10
AFRC 081.900

Fulfills Distributional Course in Arts & Letters (for students admitted before Fall 2006)

Crosslisted with: AFRC 081 900

This course is a survey of African-American literature and focuses on black sexuality and representations of gender. We will take Harriet Jacobs’s slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, as our point of departure and ask how African Americans came to understand and depict their sexual and gender identities. Reading across genres, we will also discuss how large-scale literary/artistic movements such as Modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Black Arts movement formed, and were formed by, writers’ sexual and gender identities. In addition to Jacobs, we will engage visual and audio culture as well as writers such as Alain Locke, Richard Wright, Gayle Jones, James Baldwin, Ntozake Shange, Cheryl Clarke, Alice Walker, Audry Lorde and Samuel Delaney.