Black Women Writers
Audre Lorde famously stated, “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.”In She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks, the poet Marlene NourbeSe Philip observed, “I want to write about the beauty of kinky hair and flat noses—maybe I should be writing about the language that kinked the hair and flattened noses…” NourbeSe Philip might have added that she also should be writing about the language that engendered woman. Taking these statements as a point of departure for the seminar, we will examine the ways a selection of authors and filmmakers engage language for social change. Included on the syllabus will be works by Harriet Jacobs, Ida B Wells, Lucy Parsons, June Jordan, Sarah Moldoror, Léonora Miano, Marilene Felinto, Maaza Mengiste, Akwaeke Emezi, and Elizabeth Acevedo. The course will feature class visits by several contemporary writers. In consultation with the instructor, students will complete a semester-long project.