English 190

Research Seminar: Race and Rumors of Race in American Prose


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
13 Fall 2015 Giscombe, Cecil S.
TTh 3:30-5 121 Wheeler

Book List

Acosta, Oscar Zeta: Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo; Butler, Octavia: Kindred; Cather, Willa: Sapphira and the Slave Girl; Faulkner, William: Absalom, Absalom; Larsen, Nella: Passing; Morrison, Toni: Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination; Twain, Mark: Huckleberry Finn; Whitehead, Colson: Zone One; Wright, Richard: Native Son; Yang, Gene Luen : American Born Chinese

Other Readings and Media

Film:  Alien: Resurrection

Description

Race in 2015 is still a taboo topic in many literary conversations.  In Race and Rumors of Race in American Prose we’ll take a look back and a look forward.  We’ll start with Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination and we’ll read two of the texts she discusses—Willa Cather’s Sapphira and the Slave Girl and Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.  We’ll read Nella Larsen’s novel Passing and William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! and Richard Wright’s Native Son.  We’ll read Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel, American Born Chinese, and Oscar Zeta Acosta’s Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo.  We’ll finish with two futuristic novels—Kindred, Octavia Butler’s time-travel fantasy, and Zone One, Colson Whitehead’s tale of zombie apocalypse.  And we’ll watch the final film in the Alien series, Resurrection.  Requirements: two ten-page papers, class presentations, participation in the life of the class.

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