Fall 2021 Undergraduate English Courses

358:379 Black Women Writers

01  HYBRID IN PERSON  T 11:00-12:20 PM  CAC  03133  EDWARDS  MU-115 / Asynchronous Online

In this class, we will study the writings of Black women from the U.S., Caribbean, and Africa. Our primary goals are to sharpen our skills as readers, writers, and thinkers and to develop an analysis of how real-world hierarchies (of race, of class, of gender, of sexuality, of ability, of age) have given shape to some of the most beautiful and urgent prose and poetry of the contemporary world. Many of the stories we read will be coming-of-age stories, stories about what it means to grow up in a world in which to be Black and cisgendered female is to be what Ntozake Shange called “a metaphysical dilemma.” We will spend most of our time with novels, but we will also read poetry, short stories, and essays. We will study literary works in their historical contexts, discussing the authors who wrote them and the times and places they emerged in. Authors may include Harriet Jacobs, Pauline Hopkins, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Ntozake Shange, Gloria Naylor, NoViolet Buluwayo, Paule Marshall, Jamaica Kincaid, Natasha Trethewey, and Danielle Evans. Class will meet in person once each week; learning will otherwise be asynchronous. Requirements will be weekly discussion posts, two essays, and a collaborative final project.