E 376M • African American Literature, 1940 to the Present
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
The second half of the twentieth century has witnessed great political and limited economic change for the African American population. How has African American literature evolved in this context? How has it contributed to and impacted American and world literature? This course focuses on novels that marked generations of readers and writers, redefining their views on race, class, gender, and sexuality, with a concluding theoretical essay by Toni Morrison.
Course work will consist of weekly responses to the readings, a personal paper, and a final exam. Each student must sign up to initiate one week's discussion and hand in their notes for that week.
4-6 pp personal paper 40%
Final exam 40%
(starting beforehand is highly recommended):
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God, 1937
Langston Hughes, Selected Poems of Langston Hughes, 1926 to 1965
Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun, 1959 (play)
Claude Brown, Man Child in the Promised Land, 1966
Ernest J. Gaines, Of Love and Dust, 1967
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, 1970
Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark, 1992