Fall 2022 Undergraduate English Courses

358:379 Black Women Writers

01  CAC   TTH6   07917   WALLACE   HH-A5

This course covers the extraordinary career of one of America’s greatest writers ever: Toni Morrison. For fifty years, Morrison was one of the leading lights of modern African American fiction, undoubtedly one of the most important of the twentieth (now twenty-first) century. Few have been more prolific. None has done more longer to shine a light on the racial unconscious of American writing and on the expressive resources of America’s subjugated cultural classes.  With an eye to Morrison’s essential role in the emergence of a distinctive modern black women’s literary tradition, we shall (also) attend to themes as varied as history/memory, gender, orality, slavery/freedom, migration, music and modernism.

From a somewhat different vantage point, reading Morrison presents an extended occasion for us to explore the practice and pleasures of reading in itself. I am interested as well, that is, in reading and literacy as an American cultural practice and a form of social capital respectively.  I want to know and enjoin you to consider your attitudes, beliefs, feelings and habits of reading as we consider how Morrison may challenge modern reading’s reflexes, calling us to new or other expectations.