African American Lit

This class is intended to
introduce students to the literary works produced by African Americans in an effort
to provide a comprehensive, though not exhaustive, foundation of African
American literature.  This class seeks to
interrogate the dynamics of African American literature across a host of
genres: memoirs, novels, autobiography, and science fiction.  This class will center on how “America” is
represented from the standpoint of African Americans in addition to
understanding how African American writers negotiate their respective
identities in the face of American culture through literary representation.  In addition to engaging literature, this
class will also focus on visual culture – paintings, photography, sculpture,
etc. – to come to terms with how the African American experience is expressed
through a variety of mediums.


Course Requirements 

*4 Close Readings

*Midterm Paper       


*4 scene analysis

*Final Paper            

*Attendance and


Required Texts

Douglass, Frederick. My
Bondage and My Freedom

Baldwin, James. The Fire
Next Time

Toomer, Jean. Cane.

Larsen, Nella. Passing.

Butler, Octavia E. Kindred.

Whitehead, Colson. Apex
Hides the Hurt

Morrison, Toni. The
Bluest Eye

Ellison, Ralph. Invisible

Wilson, Harriet.  Our
Nig; Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black