ENGL368D - Special Topics in the Literature of Africa and the African Diaspora: African American Folklore in Film and Literature
Syllabus:
Section(s):

This course uses a multimedia format to explore various genres of African American traditional culture such as:

  • Narrative forms including myth, legend, and folktale
  • Musical forms such as blues, ballads, gospel, spirituals, work songs, rhythm & blues, and soul
  • Belief systems including conjure, hoodoo, supernatural witches and ghosts
  • Customary practices ranging from signifying to jook house celebrations

Augmented by film and sound recordings we will consider these forms and black performance style in context and as part of an ongoing pattern of traditional preferences or aesthetics. In the process, we will look to iconic figures such as Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, and Muddy Waters, and to collectors and cultural brokers including Zora Neale Hurston and Alan Lomax.

Repeatable to 9 credits if content differs.

Prerequisites: 

Two lower-level English courses, at least one in literature; or permission of ARHU-English department.