ENGL748B - Seminar In American Literature: Black Atlantic Theory, Circulation, And Print
0101 - Edlie Wong

This discussion-based graduate seminar tracks the development and circulation of black cultural expression and thought in a range of writings, including the polemic, slave narrative, memoir, novel, and historiography from the late eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. We will critically investigate the analytic shift from “roots” to “routes” as we read widely in the literatures, histories, and theories of what Paul Gilroy, Joseph Roach, Stuart Hall, Ian Baucom, and others have variously described as the productive inter-cultures of the black Atlantic world. We will pay particular attention to the shaping influence of transatlantic slavery upon the development of black cultural forms. How has the memory and history of slavery as a social system determined the rhetorical strategies, formal structures, and figurative language found in early black writing? How have later writers used this literary “journey back” to express a complex range of struggles with the legacies of African enslavement in the Americas?