Spring 2023 Undergraduate English Courses

358:381 The Art of Talk Back and Make Space

01  TF1  CAC  05412   SCOTT  CA-A4

The Art of Talk Back and Make Space

Black women authors have a long tradition of making the personal political. Black women have historically expressed this in groundbreaking works across multiple and diverse genres. This course will examine how Black women authors use their work to “talk back.” As a class, we will question: Who are they talking to? For whom are they talking? And how does their rhetorical practice claim space in a society that marginalizes them? Throughout the course, we will engage with these critical questions thematically. We will read books such as bell hooks’ Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black (1989) and place them in conversation with contemporary texts such as Sesali Bowen’s Bad Fat Black Girl: Notes from a Trap Feminist (2021). These books and others will highlight Black women's practices of survival that are still maintained today—ultimately helping us grapple with aspects of their art not only imitating their lives but also serving as an authentic reflection of their experiences.