Print Page

African American Literature: 1965-Present (ENLT 2262)

Total Credits: 3
Lecture Credits: 3

Description: This course explores the emergence and formal development of the contemporary African American literary tradition. Popular writers such as Terry McMillan and Walter Mosely will be featured, as well as younger writers who are just beginning their careers. You will explore themes including relationships, race/racism, family life, neighborhoods, work life, through genres as diverse as short stories, poems, novels, song lyrics, speeches, hip hop, rap, and blues.

Topical Outline:
1. Literature Since 1970
2. Women Writers of the African American/Caribbean Tradition
3. Queer Writers
4. Postcolonial Theory
5. Critical Race theory
6. The African Diaspora

Learning Outcomes:
1. Recognize the scope and variety of works in African American literature (e.g. spiritual, gospel, blues, slave narrative, ballad, work song, sermon, oration, jazz, rap, autobiography, essay, poetry, short story, and novel)
2. Respond critically to works of African American literature and articulate an informed personal reaction
3. Articulate an understanding of individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups and of how African American literature grows out of the political and social dynamic of race relations in the United States
4. Understand the development of and changing meanings of African American identity in U.S. history and culture and the role of African American literature in nurturing identity and building community and fostering social and political change
5. Identify and connect with African American writers and artists working in their own communities, and begin to recognize this work within this larger context

Prerequisites:  ENGL 1110 or ENGA 1110

  • Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts
  • Goal 7: Human Diversity