ENGL471 - African-American Literature: 1910-1945

This class examines the Harlem Renaissance as a foundational moment in establishing the relationship between African-American politics and aesthetics. We study it not as a coherent movement, but as a set of competing and contested investments and paradigms, fractured and lubricated by generational, class, gender, race, and aesthetic divides. Topics we study will include passing and the “fiction” of race; the politics of literary form; regionalisms and authentic identity; diaspora and transnationalism; intimacy and respectability; and the relationship between memory and history. Authors include Paul Laurence Dunbar, Angelina Weld Grimké, Jean Toomer, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Nella Larsen, and Langston Hughes. Course requirements include two short papers, an oral presentation, a research paper, and a final exam.


Two English courses in literature or permission of the department.