Reading Black, Reading Feminist (3) Female identity and its construction in textual representations of gender, class, color, and cultural difference in English-language literatures.
ENGL (WMNST) 462 Reading Black, Reading Feminist (3)
(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
ENGL/WMNST 462 provides two important learning opportunities for undergraduate students. The first is to examine the construction of female identity in the textual representations of gender, class, color, and cultural differences by black American women. The second is to identify, explore, and analyze the major issues concerning the discovery and development of a black feminist literary tradition. Authors under consideration will vary from class to class, but may include writers such as Hortense Spillers, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Wilson, E. Genovese, Hazel Carby, Francis Harper, J. Fauset, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, Margaret Walker, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Maya Angelou, Lorraine Hansberry, Adrienne Kennedy, E. Brown-Guillory, Toni Morrison, S. A. Williams, Alice Walker, Paula Marshall, and Octavia Butler. The course will focus on the complex relationship of slavery and post-slavery black experience to the literary imagination of African American women, and of issues of gender in black identity in America. Topics covered will vary, but will include issues of the legacy of slavery, the development of black feminist thought, nineteenth-century conceptions of black womanhood, women's roles in the Harlem Renaissance, representations of black womanhood by male writers, and self-representation by female writers, women "Black Power" poets, black female playwrights, neo-slave narratives, the aesthetics of contemporary black feminism, and post-modernism and the challenge to understandings of canonicity posed by black women's writing, and the like. This class will prepare students for advanced courses in African American and feminist literature, as well as other academic courses that engage in the verbal and written analysis of complex written forms. Students will be evaluated by class participation, a group oral presentation, small group problem solving exercises, three out-of-class essays (of 5-8 pages each), and an in-class final examination consisting of essays and short answers. In addition to satisfying requirements for students emphasizing in African American literature within the English major, this course will be important in the offerings of African/African American Studies, American Studies, Women's Studies, and History. The course may be used as English Major elective credit or as credit towards the English minor, and will be offered once every other year, with 40 seats per offering. The course can be used to complete the major and minor in Women's Studies Arts and Humanities area and it also satisfies the Women of Color (WOC) sub-requirement.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.