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

Fall 2005

E 376M • African American Literature, 1940 to the Present (CANCELLED)

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
33490 MWF
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
PAR 105

Course Description

Is the problem of the 21st century still the color line, as W.E.B. Du Bois termed it a century ago? And if so, how is the color line implicated in a postmodernist framework differently than in a modernist one? For example, writers like the late Claudia Tate argue that because of the continuation of racial oppression and the demand for black literature to identify and militate against it, black literature evolves so as to prove that racism exists in the real world and is not a figment of the black imagination. Conversely, psychoanalytical readings of racism risk designating race as pathology. Enter Epifano San Juan, who observes that race is an unstable and decentered complex of social meanings constantly being transformed by political struggle. This course engages modernist to postmodernist debates about the evolutionary process of the African-American novel as a racial protocol issue.

Grading Policy

Four critical essays (four pages each, ds) 80%
Group presentations/reading quizzes/class participation 20%

Regular attendance is required. More than four absences will be sufficient grounds for failure in the course.


Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition
James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex Coloured Man
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Ann Petry, The Street
Jamaica Kincaid, Annie John
Edwidge Danticat, Breath, Eyes, Memory


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