ENG660 202001 Graduate

Fall 2020
ENG 660
Applies To: 
American Literature: Black Supernatural

Faith Barter

Faith Barter profile picture
  • Title: Assistant Professor
  • Phone: 541-346-1510
  • Office: 320 PLC
  • Office Hours: Spring 2021: M 2:30-4:30pm, Th 12-1pm Sign up at https://dr-barter.youcanbook.me/
Department Section Description: 

This course will consider African American and Caribbean literature that troubles our notions of the “natural” and the “real.” Exploring narratives of hallucination, prophecy, psychic knowledge, and supernatural phenomena, 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, consciousness, and sanity. The course is transhistorical, but we will spend significant time in the 19th century before turning to more contemporary fiction. Possible readings include: The Conjure Tales (Chesnutt), Confessions of Nat Turner, “The Mulatto” (Sejour), Blake (Delany), The History of the Carolina Twins (McKoy), Of One Blood (Hopkins), Tell My Horse (Hurston), Louisiana (Brodber), Augustown (Miller), M Archive (Gumbs), short stories by N.K. Jemisin, and critical interventions from scholars of Black feminism, Afrofuturism, and Afropessimism. Possible films include Sorry to Bother You, Daughters of the Dust, and Fast Color.