The Traditions of African American Literature
01/26/2009 - 05/08/2009
Wednesday 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM
This course undertakes to look at the history and traditions of African American literature from its folk origins to its contemporary manifestations. We will examine the forms of folk production that preceded and informed the written literature (musical forms such as spirituals, blues, and secular ballads; and narrative forms such as folktales). We will then turn to the written tradition of African American literature, looking at the poetry and fiction written by people of African descent from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. This course will focus on the ways African Americans used literature to respond to historical conditions like slavery, to help shape social movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and to address the key questions concerning what literature can do to reflect, represent, and challenge an American mainstream tradition that excluded writers of African descent.
The major text for this course will be Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. and Nellie McKay, Eds., The Norton Anthology of African American Literature (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997).
Course assignments will include two short essays (4-6 pages) and one longer paper (6-8 pages).
This course is open to auditors.
A syllabus for this course is available at:
Ashraf Rushdy (B.A., M.A. University of Alberta; Ph.D. University of Cambridge) is professor of English and African American studies. He is author of Remembering Generations: Race and Family in Contemporary African American Fiction (University of North Carolina Press, 2001); Neo-Slave Narratives: Studies in the Social Logic of a Literary Form (Oxford University Press, 1999); The Empty Garden: The Subject of Late Milton (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992), and more than 35 articles and essays. Click here for more information about Ashraf Rushdy.
Consent of Instructor Required: No
|Level: GLSP||Credits: 3||Enrollment Limit: 18|
Texts to purchase for this course:
Henry Gates and Nellie McKay, THE NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE (W.W. Norton), Paperback
READING MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE AT BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 BROAD STREET, MIDDLETOWN, 860-685-7323 Order your books online
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