ENGL368E - Texts of the Black Atlantic

This course will explore the concept of the Black Atlantic—the world formed as a result of the Atlantic slave trade—through a reading of fictional and non-fictional texts written by black authors between 1770 and 1900. We will begin by looking at the narrative of Afro-British writer Olaudah Equiano which details his kidnapping from Africa, enslavement, and experiences in the black Atlantic world. Then we will cross the Atlantic to examine texts by black American authors in which they address issues of black identity both as Americans and as members of the Black Atlantic (poetry by Phillis Wheatley; autobiographical narratives by Mary Prince and Mary Seacole; novels by Martin Delany and Pauline Hopkins). REQUIREMENTS: oral presentation written up as a short paper; quizzes; midterm exam; paper (8-10 pp.); final exam.


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