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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2008

E 376M • The Harlem Renaissance- Honors

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35320 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
GAR 2.108

Course Description

Long before the late-twentieth century arrival of Starbucks and Clintons, there was another Harlem Renaissance, a time during the 1920s and 1930s when African American artistic and cultural life flourished with Harlem as its epicenter. In this course we will draw upon nonfiction, fiction, and poetry not only to remember the Renaissance as traditionally portrayed in literary history, but also to re-member the movement, to piece together our own impressions of its people, places, and passions. Who were the leading figures of the Renaissance? What are the forgotten but no less important names? How did the movement's influence extend beyond the confines of upper Manhattan? In addition to these questions, we will also address how literary production complemented and contrasted with the politics, music, and fine art of the period. Our ultimate goal is not only to emerge with a broader picture of the Harlem Renaissance, but also to understand the period's significance as a pivotal transition in African American literary expression, one bridging the gap between Reconstruction literature of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and urban literature of the mid-twentieth century.

Grading Policy

Three short papers (4 pages each) 45%
Final research paper (8-10 pages) 35%
Reading responses and class participation 20%

Attendance is mandatory. More than three unexcused absences will result in a significant reduction of your grade.


Marita Bonner, "On Being Young--a Woman--and Colored" and The Purple Flower
Jessie Fauset, Plum Bun Langston Hughes, The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (selections)
Nella Larsen, Passing
Alain Locke, "The New Negro"
Claude McKay, Selected Poems (selections)
George Samuel Schuyler, Black No More
Jean Toomer, Cane
Crisis Reader (selections)
Opportunity Reader (selections)
Course reader featuring essays from and criticism on the Harlem Renaissance


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