ENGL234 - African-American Literature and Culture

The course explores the literary and cultural productions of African Americans of the U.S. and the Diaspora produced in the 20th and 21st centuries. One of the aims of the course is to examine how representations in film, fiction, autobiography, and poetry are sometimes complementary, sometimes competing, and offer to the reader many different characters, perspectives, impressions, and narrations of important cultural and historical moments in African American history, and, therefore, in the history of the nation. We will look at representations of race in the color-line fiction of Charles Chesnutt and James Weldon Johnson. We will examine sexuality, politics, and racial uplift in Harlem Renaissance literature, racial passing in the fiction of Nella Larsen and in the films of Julie Dash, political narratives inspired by the civil rights movement, black nationalist representations in film, autobiography, and poetry; and finally, we will look at the narratives of contemporary writers and filmmakers, exploring they ways they suggest the prospects of a post-racial America.

Also offered as AASP298L.