ENG316 202002 Undergraduate

Winter 2021
ENG 316
Applies To: 
Course Description: 

Women's writing in a particular genre or form (prose, fiction, drama, poetry, autobiography, folksong) examined in the context of current feminist literary theories. Repeatable three times when topic changes.

Women Writers' Forms: Black Women's Novels

Courtney Thorsson

Courtney Thorsson profile picture
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 541-346-1473
  • Office: 244 PLC
  • Office Hours: F21: TUES 10am-1pm via Zoom at https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/97948555325
Department Section Description: 

In this course, we will study novels by Black American women from the late nineteenth century to the present. Using close reading and historical context, we will consider how these novels construct race, class, and gender; the possibilities and limits of the novel form; whether and how these texts engage with Black Nationalism, Civil Rights, Black Power, Feminism, and other political movements; how these novels envision home, community, and nation; and, finally, whether these novels are part of a distinct tradition of African American women's writing. Authors whose works we may read include Frances Harper, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison. The goal of this course is to help you engage with African American literature, improving your writing, reading, and critical thinking skills in the process. This class requires substantial reading and writing and vigorous participation.


F-Gender/Ability/Queer Studies/Sexuality

Gender, Ability, Queer Studies, and/or Sexuality courses focus on the ways that issues of sexuality, gender, queerness, and disability are represented, critiqued, and developed in media and literature.


Empire, Race, and/or Ethnicity courses focus on ways that race matters in literature, media, and culture.  Recent courses have examined such matters as native American literature and film; nineteenth-century writings by slavers and enslaved people in the U.S. and British colonies; fiction and filmmaking in post-apartheid South Africa; Latinx science fiction and environmental justice, and the novels of Toni Morrison.

English Minor

English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts.  The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.