This course considers the impact of storytelling and spirituals on the literary production of African American authors from the Colonial period to the current day, examining the cultural, historical, and political contexts of the literature, as well as how the issues of gender, race, and class affect the production and meaning of these works. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: identify the cultural influences and the development of African American literature; analyze the evolution of African American literature from an oral to a literary tradition; define the functions of African American literature from its inception in the period of slavery to the contemporary period; identify the major authors and/or literary works in the various literary periods and movements (Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance Movement; Harlem Renaissance; Realism, Naturalism, and modernism; Black Arts; and the Contemporary Period). This free course may be completed online at any time. (English Literature 411)
African American Literature
Introduction to African American literature; includes critical analysis and writing about literature.
AAS 267, African American Literature, is a survey course that will take us from the early days of enslavement to the present. We will read, analyze, and discuss literary texts written by African Americans, paying particular attention to the political, historical and social context that informs these texts.
Book about the Black Arts movement, including chapters on the role of periodicals, anthologies, and critics.
Interdisciplinary survey of people of African descent that draws on the overlapping approaches of history, literature, anthropology, legal studies, media studies, performance, linguistics, and creative writing. This course connects the experiences of African-Americans and of other American minorities, focusing on social, political, and cultural histories, and on linguistic patterns.
In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry examines trends in African-American criticism through the lens of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Toni Morrison. A brief history of African-American literature and criticism is undertaken, and the relationship of both to feminist theory is explicated. The problems in cultural and identity studies of essentialism, “the identity queue,” expropriation, and biology are surveyed, with particular attention paid to the work of Michael Cooke and Morrison’s reading of Huckleberry Finn. At the lecture’s conclusion, the tense relationship between African-American studies and New Critical assumptions are explored with reference to Robert Penn Warren’s poem, “Pondy Woods.”
The National Humanities center presents this collection of essays by leading scholars on the topic ŇFreedomŐs Story: Teaching African American Literature and HistoryÓ. Topics include the affect of slavery on families, slave resistance, how to read slave narratives, Frederick Douglass, reconstruction, segregation, pigmentocracy, protest poetry, jazz, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, and more.