Spring 2020 Undergraduate English Courses

358:218 Black Literature 1930 to the Present

01  MTH2  CAC  17577  EDWARDS  MU-111

Over the course of the past century, African American literature has undergone so many definitive transformations--from testifying to the brutalities of slavery and Jim Crow in naturalist prose, to proclaiming “black is beautiful” in nationalist poetry, to declaring the end of blackness, to insisting with activists that #BlackLivesMatter--that the very definition of “African American Literature” is a hotly contested question of much critical debate. As we study the literature written by black Americans since the New Negro Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s, we will witness these transformations in poetry, novels, essays, drama, and film. Thinking through the relationship between creative work and social movements, will read work from the Chicago Renaissance of the 1930s and 1940s, the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, the black women’s literary renaissance of the 1970s and 1980s, the #BlackLivesMatter era, and more. Authors will include Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Gwendolyn Brooks, June Jordan, Toni Morrison, and Kiese Laymon.