ENGL234 - African-American Literature and Culture
0101-0108 - Edlie Wong
This course surveys the development of black literary expression and cultural thought from the beginnings in the African slave trade to the 21st century. Ranging across literary genres, from the slave narrative to satire, graphic novel, drama, science fiction, and the modern novel, we will examine how black writers grappled with American slavery and its legacy of racial thought in what W.E.B. DuBois described as the “color-line.” We will pay particular attention to writers who used fantasy, science fiction, and satire to imagine different relationships to this racial past. Writers we may read include Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Frank Webb, Pauline Hopkins, James Weldon Johnson, George Schuyler, Octavia Butler, August Wilson, and Mat Johnson. 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, gender, and class.Also offered as AASP298L. Credit will be granted for one of the following: AASP298L or ENGL234.