English 133T

Upper Division Coursework: Topics in African American Literature and Culture: Black Writers in the Americas

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2006 Hartman, Saidiya V.
Hartman, Saidiya
TTh 2-3:30 106 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Ottobah Cugoano: ??Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery,?? in Pioneers of the Black Atlantic; James Ukawsaw Gronniosaw: ??A Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars,?? Pioneers; Olaudah Equiano: ??The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano,?? Pioneers; David Walker??s Appeal & Henry Highland Garnet??s Address; Frederick Douglass: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom; Moira Ferguson, ed.: The History of Mary Prince; Harriet Jacobs: Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl; Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Iola Leroy; W.E.B. DuBois: The Souls of Black Folks; James Weldon Johnson: Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man; Jean Toomer: Cane.


This introductory course examines eighteenth- , nineteenth- , and early twentieth-century literature written by black writers. The course is less a historical survey of African American literature than an extended engagement with questions of black letters and slavery, race and representation, and the politics of literary form. The themes to be considered are literacy and black humanity, dissent and strategies of subversion in black letters, autobiography and the fashioning of a public self, the quicksand of racial and sexual representation in the writing of the Harlem Renaissance, modernism and vernacular expression, and the question of a black aesthetic. The course materials include slave narratives, political pamphlets, essays, novels, and autobiographies.

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