English C136

Topics in American Studies: Harlem Renaissance

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2019 Wagner, Bryan
TTh 3:30-5 310 Hearst Mining

Book List

Hurston, Zora Neale: Their Eyes Were Watching God; Johnson, James Weldon: Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Larsen, Nella: Passing; Locke, Alain: The New Negro; McKay, Claude: Harlem Shadows; Toomer, Jean: Cane; Wright, Richard: Black Boy

Other Readings and Media

All other materials will be available in PDF format on the course website.


The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement of black artists and writers in the 1920s. Centered in the Harlem neighborhood in Manhattan, the movement extended outward through international collaboration. We will be reading works by writers including Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, and Zora Neale Hurston as well as manifestos about the nature and function of black art. Themes include migration and metropolitan life, primitivism and the avant garde, diaspora and exile, passing and identity, sexuality and secrecy, and the relationship between modern art and folk tradition. Weekly writing, two exams, and two essays.

This class is cross-listed with American Studies C111E section 1.

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