Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

African American Creative Non-Fiction: The Memoir, The Essay, and the Blog

ENGL 290.401

This course considers the evolution of creative non-fiction texts – the memoir, essay, and now the blog – in African American literature.  Focusing on three themes, we will analyze how African American non-fiction writers have experimented with different genres of writing in order to wrestle with questions of: language, love, and loss in American culture and politics. Authors under consideration will vary from class to class, but may include canonical figures like James Baldwin, W. E. B. Du Bois, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, contemporary writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Edwidge Danticat, Thomas Glave, Barack Obama, and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, and bloggers Jamelle Bouie and Latoya Peterson. Students will have the opportunity to craft their own work of creative non-fiction by (1) writing a term-long memoir or collection of short essays, and (2) managing their own class blog or tumblr.   

Available from Duke University Press in July 2012.Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post–Civil Rights Imagination

This coures counts as a Cultural Diversity in the U. S. requirement for the College.

fulfills requirements
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major