Fall 2017 Undergraduate English Courses
358:376 Harlem Renaissance
01 MW6 CAC 20886 KERNAN MU-211
The goal of this course is to provide students with both a broad overview of texts that are constitutive of the canon of the Harlem Renaissance, and to situate those texts in their contemporary literary, political, and international contexts. Issues that will be considered will include the contemporary politics, aesthetics, and material conditions of production that surrounded the creation of Harlem Renaissance texts, and the triple demand of the Harlem Renaissance Author: to create “more sophisticated” African American Literary works; to create “authentic black texts”’ and to help with communal issues and racial uplift. We will consider the way our texts demand and answer to the demands of all these issues paying special heed to the manners in which our texts answer to political, person, and communal dictates. We will also consider questions like: How did “The Worldwide Negro Voyage” inform the well-springs of the Harlem Renaissance? What is the significance of the so-called white-patronage of the Harlem Renaissance? How did the Soviet Union’s 1926 “Solution to the Race Problem” inform the great works of thus particular period? What features, other than time period, distinguish Harlem Renaissance texts from other early 20th century literary works written in English? Evaluation will be based on: informed participation in class and in the class’s Facebook study group, two midterms, and a final exam.