Examines the origins and development of African American literature and culture in relevant intellectual, social, and historical contexts.
Working from the 19th century to the present, this course will consider African American and Afro-Caribbean literature that troubles our notions of the “natural” and the “real.” Exploring narratives of hallucination, prophecy, and divination, we will study the ways that Black writers have documented political resistance and claimed Black identity through the language of what we will provisionally call “the supernatural.” Rather than reading the supernatural solely as forms of ghost stories, psychosis, and horror, we will take seriously narratives of hallucination and prophecy in order to unsettle dominant colonial norms of knowledge, literature, and sanity.
Multicultural, Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance (IP) courses examine the social construction of collective identities, the emergence of representative voices from varying social and cultural standpoints, and the effects of prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination. The purpose of courses in this category is to analyze the general principles underlying tolerance, or the lack of it.
US: Difference, Inequality, and Agency courses focus on race and ethnicity in the United States by considering two or more racial and ethnic groups.
Literature, 1789 to the present courses focus on literary work produced over more than two centuries -- from the period of British romanticism and the early republic of the United States up to now -- in order to foster familiarity with key works in British and American literary history. Literary history illustrates how literary works reflect, address, and resist the social and political environments in which they are produced as well as other works that have preceded them.
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 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.