CAAS 338 - Literature in Afro-American Culture
Section: 001
Term: WN 2011
Subject: Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Advisory Prerequisites:
CAAS 201.
Other Course Info:
(African-American Studies).
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

At the core of autobiography lies a sense of ownership over oneself, ones voice and ones story. It is not surprising that this form would become such a powerful tool in the fight for abolition and, later, Civil Rights in America. The institution of slavery denied men and women their selfhood and forbade the acquisition of literacy. The slave narrative was born of these denials and became one of the most significant genres in the development of African American letters. This course will begin with a study of several slave narratives that established the genre. We will then consider post-abolition autobiographies, autobiographical novels, and neo-slave narratives which both echo the early slave narratives and tackle contemporary concerns.

Assignments will include two short response papers, a midterm, a group presentation, and a final paper based on students’ individual research. We will also have periodic in-class writings and reading quizzes. Sample texts may include:

  • Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • William and Ellen Craft, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom
  • Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
  • James Weldon Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
  • Richard Wright, Black Boy
  • Ernest J. Gaines, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

CAAS 338 - Literature in Afro-American Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 1551112620
The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the Aftican, Author: written by himself, Olaudah Equiano ; edited by Angelo Constanzo., Publisher: Broadview Press Reprinted 2001
ISBN: 9780679783282
Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave, Author: Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895., Publisher: Modern Library 2000
ISBN: 9780312394486
Up from slavery : with related documents, Author: Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915., Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's 2003
ISBN: 0143105760
Our nig, or, Sketches from the life of a free black, Author: Harriet E. Wilson ; edited by P. Gabrielle Foreman and Reginald H. Pitts ; introduction by P. Gabrielle Foreman., Publisher: Penguin Books 150th anni 2009
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0679727531
The autobiography of an ex-coloured man, Author: James Weldon Johnson ; with an introduction by Carl Van Vechten ; with an introduction to the Vintage edition by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Publisher: Vintage Books 1st Vintag 1989
ISBN: 0385342780
The autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Author: Ernest J. Gaines., Publisher: Bantam Dell Dial Press 2009
ISBN: 0061443085
Black boy (American hunger) : a record of childhood and youth, Author: Richard Wright ; with a foreword by Edward P. Jones., Publisher: HarperPerennial Modern Classics 1st Harper 2008
ISBN: 0807083100
Kindred, Author: Octavia E. Butler., Publisher: Beacon Press 2009
ISBN: 0226893448
Crusade for justice the autobiographie of Ida B. Wells, Author: ed. by Alfreda M. Duster, Publisher: The Univ. of Chicago Press 8. #print. 1991
Other Textbook Editions OK.
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