ENGL470 - African-American Literature: The Beginning to 1910
0101 - Edlie Wong

This course charts the development of black literary expression and cultural thought from their beginnings in the African slave trade to 1910. Ranging across literary genres (from poetry to polemic, slave narrative, regional fiction, and the novel), we will examine how black authors grappled with slavery and its legacy of racial thought in what W.E.B. DuBois described as the “color-line.” Slavery and abolition produced profound and expansive changes upon American society, as we know it. This history influenced the rhetorical strategies, formal structures, and figurative language of early African American literature. In our readings, we will ask, among other things, how black writers changed peoples’ ideas about themselves, sent people to war, and built or broke down ideas about “America,” race, and gender.


Two English courses in literature or permission of the department.