Spring 2021 Undergraduate English Courses

358:275 The Literary and Cultural History of Black Lives Matter

01  09271  MATHES   MTH  9:50-11:10 AM

The Literary and Cultural History of Black Lives Matter

This course examines a span of Black literary and cultural expression from the 1950s through the present. We will focus on literature, as well as music, film, and visual art produced in relationship to ideas of black social and political awareness and activism marking the long transition from the era of Civil rights and Black Power to the current period of BLM mobilization. Our readings will focus both on non-fictional accounts of black life as well as fictional work that creatively frames black political and socio-economic realities marking these decades. Texts may include, James Baldwin, No Name in the Street (1972); Toni Cade Bambara, Those Bones Are Not My Child (1999); Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952); Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun (1959); T. Geronimo Johnson, Welcome to Braggsville (2015);Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped (2013). We will read selected poetry from Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez, Audre Lorde, Douglas Kearney, Danez Smith, Nikki Finney, Evie Shockley, Lucille Clifton, Amiri Baraka, Yusef Komunyaaka, Terrance Hayes, Tracy K. Smith, Claudia Rankine, and others.

 Requirements: 2 short essays, final project/paper, regular participation (including discussion board posts, reading quizzes).