ENGL368A - Special Topics in the Literature of Africa and the African Diaspora; Poetry as History

The course focuses on modern and contemporary poetry that re-reads historical texts, re-imagining the historical experience of people of color in the Americas, in Canada, and in Britain, writing in the blanks and silences of official histories and biographies. This course looks at poetry texts that recall, dramatize, and critically examine historical experience, events, and persons such as the legacy of black explorers and migrants in Canada, the experience of Caribbean migrants in Britain, the revolt of captive Africans aboard La Amistad, the role of African Americans in the Civil War, the experience of black and mixed race women as sex workers in early 20th century New Orleans, the lives of botanist George Washington Carver, the 1936 Spelling Bee finalist MacNolia Cox, and Emmett Till murdered in Mississippi in 1955.