Contemporary African American Narratives of Slavery
01/28/2008 - 05/10/2008
This course will primarily be concerned with examining in some detail the recent proliferation of African American fiction about slavery. After a preliminary discussion of some notable antebellum slave narratives, we will study eight contemporary "narratives of slavery" and define the three most notable forms of representing slavery in contemporary fiction: 1) "Neo-Slave narratives"--that is, novels that are contemporary rewritings of antebellum slave narrative forms and conventions; 2) "Palimpsest narratives," which are novels set in late 20th-century America but tracing modern social relations within an explicit representation of the slave experience; and 3) historical novels set in the antebellum South.
Required texts include David Bradley, The Chaneysville Incident; Octavia Butler, Kindred; Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave; Charles Johnson, Middle Passage and Oxherding Tale; Gayl Jones, Corregidora; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Ishmael Reed, Flight to Canada; Sherley Anne Williams, Dessa Rose.
Grades will be based on several factors: a consideration of the overall achievement and degree of improvement over the course of the marked essays, the quality of the unmarked reading assignments, attendance, and participation. Students will required to write very short response papers for the readings in the class (one page) as well as four essays: one short, ungraded essay for the instructor's information; two short essays (four pages); and one longer essay (eight pages).
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:
David Bradley, THE CHANEYSVILLE INCIDENT (Harper & Row), Paperback
Octavia Butler, KINDRED (Beacon), Paperback
Frederick Douglass, NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS, AN AMERICAN SLAVE (Penguin), Paperback
Harriet Jacobs, INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL, WRITTEN BY HERSELF (Harvard University Press), Paperback
Charles Johnson, MIDDLE PASSAGE (NAL), Paperback
Charles Johnson, OXHERDING TALE (Plume), Paperback
Gayle Jones, CORREGIDORA (Beacon), Paperback
Toni Morrison, BELOVED (NAL), Paperback
Ishmael Reed, FLIGHT TO CANADA (Atheneum), Paperbck
Sherley Anne Williams, DESSA ROSE (Berkley), Paperback
READING MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE AT BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 BROAD STREET, MIDDLETOWN, 860-685-7323 Order your books online
PLEASE NOTE: A course packet will also be available for purchase at PIP Printing, 179 Main Street, Middletown, (860) 344-9001. Click here to order your packet online.
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