CAAS 274 - Introduction to Afro-American Literature
Section: 001 20th/21st-Century African American Literature
Term: FA 2010
Subject: Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
CAAS 111.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

How would you define “African American literature,” and why? Answering this question may be more complicated than you think. Focusing on a broad range of fiction published from 1901 to the present — from Toni Morrison’s Beloved to Nikki Turner’s A Project Chick — this course will introduce you to some of the many perspectives included in the category of “African American literature.” We’ll pay particular attention to the historical, political, legal, and cultural contexts from which texts have emerged and to which they have responded.

Questions such as the following will shape our inquiries:

  • In what ways do ideas about race, class, gender, sexuality, and nationality shape the content, form, and reception of various novels?
  • How do various novels participate in ongoing debates about the role of the writer and the relationship between literature and politics?
  • In what ways are particular novels in conversation with each other?
  • In what ways do various texts challenge readers to develop more complex understandings of categories such as “African American,” “American,” “Blackness,” “authenticity,” “identity,” “culture,” “justice,” and “literature”?

Registered students must attend the first two class meetings in order to remain in the class.

CAAS 274 - Introduction to Afro-American Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

If you're ordering used books, please make every effort to order the PARTICULAR EDITION of each book that is listed here. [The correct edition of each book will have the same publisher and ten-digit ISBN number listed here.] If you a order different edition, your page numbers will differ and it will be difficult to follow class discussion. Charles Chesnutt's _The Marrow of Tradition_ is the first book that we'll read.
ISBN: 0312194064
The Marrow of Tradition, Author: Charles Chesnutt, Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's FIRST 2002
ISBN: 0060838671
Their eyes were watching God, Author: Zora Neale Hurston., Publisher: Harperluxe 1st Harper 2008
ISBN: 0940450666
Early works : Lawd today!, Uncle Tom's children, Native son, Author: Richard Wright., Publisher: Library of America 1st print. 1991
ISBN: 0679732764
Invisible man., Author: Ralph Ellison., Publisher: Random House 2. Vintage 1952
ISBN: 0883780615
Maud Martha, Author: Gwendolyn Brooks., Publisher: Third World Press 1st Third 1993
ISBN: 0970247265
A project chick, Author: [Nikki Turner]., Publisher: Triple Crown Publications 1st trade 2006
ISBN: 0786888156
Erasure : [a Gab bag for book discussion groups], Author: Percival Everett., Publisher: Hyperion [Book disc 2001
ISBN: 0452264464
Beloved : a novel, Author: by Toni Morrison., Publisher: Plume Books 1998
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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