Dec 03, 2022  
Catalogue 2020-2021 
Catalogue 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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AFRS 228 - African American Literature

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)
(Same as ENGL 228 ) Topic for 2020/21b: Black Modernism: On Ghosts, Mystics, And Prophets. Can writing be black? Is that a good or bad thing? What makes it so? Can it be both black and modern? Is blackness something artists need to leave behind en route to their arrival as modernists? Or instead, does blackness necessitate that artists be modern in a way different from other (non-black) artists? Beginning with the modernist innovations of African American writers after the Harlem Renaissance, this course ranges from the social protest fiction of the 1940s through the Black Arts Movement to the postmodernist experiments of contemporary African American writers. In giving our attention to the aforementioned questions, we cover the debates that have informed African American literary production, particularly the tension that has historically existed between the aesthetic and the political imperatives that inform the art. Be aware that being distinguished as “modern” is not the only temporal marker that these writers and their fictions share. Our readings this term also invoke the idea of the past (signaled by the presence of ghosts and mystics) as well as that of the future (signaled by the presence of mystics and prophets). We explore through these writers why time travel—both backward and forward—is a prominent narrative feature in black fiction. Tyrone Simpson.

Two 75-minute periods.

Course Format: CLS

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