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Black Style: Fashions, Fictions, and Films of the 1920s

ENGL 0525.301
Thursday 3:30-6:29pm

The 1920s Harlem Renaissance, also known as the New Negro Movement, was driven by the belief that black people must be the ones to represent black people in literature, art, and politics. There was, however, no consensus about what these representations should look like or whether they should please white or black audiences—and there was certainly no consensus about what it meant to be black or to have black style. Using fashion (an aesthetic, commodity, and practice) as a lens, we will examine the lively debates about the relationship between race and representation in print and on film, while building the individual and collaborative skills you need to thrive academically and professionally. 

The class will make visits to local archives and museums. Students will work individually on a semester-long project related to the topic of the course that will highlight the hidden histories of the Harlem Renaissance in Philadelphia. Assignments will be scaffolded in preparation for a final project and substantial class time will be devoted to working on projects and receiving feedback.

English Major Requirements
  • Sector 1 Theory and Poetics (AETP)
  • Sector 2 Difference and Diaspora (AEDD)
  • Sector 6 20th & 21st Centuries (AE20)
English Concentration Attributes
  • 20th-21st Century Concentration (AE21)
  • Africana Literature & Culture Concentration (AEAC)
  • Literature, Journalism, & Print Culture Concentration (AELJ)
  • Poetry & Poetics Concentration (AEPP)
  • The Novel Concentration (AENV)
  • Theory & Cultural Studies Concentration (AETC)
College Attributes
  • Sector III: Arts & Letters (AUAL)
  • Foundational Approach: Cultural Diversity in US (AUCD)
Additional Attributes