English 133T

Topics in African American Literature and Culture: African Diaspora Literature: Conversations in Black

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2013 Ellis, Nadia
TTh 11-12:30 106 Wheeler

Book List

Achebe, C.: Arrow of God; Adichie, C.: Half of a Yellow Sun; Baldwin, J.: Go Tell It On the Mountain; Brodber, E.: Louisiana; Diaz, J.: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Marshall, P: Brown Girl, Brownstones; McKay, C.: Home to Harlem; Rhodes-Pitts, S.: Harlem is Nowhere

Other Readings and Media

We will also study shorter works and critical essays by such writers as Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Jamaica Kincaid, Edwidge Danticat, George Lamming, CLR James, Stuart Hall, Edouard Glissant, Nathaniel Mackey, Brent Hayes Edwards, Krista Thompson, and Saidiya Hartman.


This course surveys 20th and 21st century texts by black writers in order to explore the making and meaning of African diaspora literature. Through attention to writers' citational practices, including their references to music, religion, visual art, and each other, we will explore how a black global imaginary is constructed and delineate the conversations that emerge amongst writers in the global sphere of literature. We will also tackle the difficult questions diaspora poses. What might it mean to belong to the diaspora, for instance? How are the claims of identity balanced against the antagonisms of difference? How do writers speak to each other across nation, region, and diaspora? And how do gender and sexuality refract any presuppositions of diaspora?

Students will write regular response papers, make presentations, and conduct a substantial final research paper.


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