ENGLISH 380 - Intersections: Fictions and Feminisms of the African Diaspora
Section: 001 The "F" Word: Exploring Feminism in Black Women's Literature
Term: WN 2012
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
AAS 111 (CAAS 111).
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The “f” word — feminism — will serve as the focal point of our exploration of Black women’s literature. Beginning with texts by writers such as Harriet Jacobs, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Morrison, Gayl Jones, and Pearl Cleage, we’ll explore the intersecting roles that race, gender, sexuality, class, and nationality have played throughout U.S. history in shaping how others have defined Black women and how Black women have defined themselves. We’ll situate African American women’s fiction in relation to the development of feminist theory in the U.S., focusing on overlaps and points of tension among various forms of African American and Euro-American feminisms. During the second half of the course, we’ll discuss fiction, essays, and films by women from Senegal, Zimbabwe, and Ghana, paying particular attention to the possibilities and challenges involved in trying to link women’s experiences across national, geographical, and historical divides.

Addressing a wide range of topics — including popular culture, artistic expression, sexuality, violence, economic inequality, imprisonment, and genital circumcision — we’ll explore how literary texts written by Black women can serve as forms of feminist theory by interrogating sources of inequality, and by imagining a world in which all women can lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

Please note: Students must attend the first two class meetings in order to remain in the class.

Course Requirements:

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Intended Audience:

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Class Format:

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ENGLISH 380 - Intersections: Fictions and Feminisms of the African Diaspora
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.

Coursepack Location:
Accu-Copy (518 East William St., 769-8338)
Welcome to Fictions and Feminisms! 
Because class discussion can be difficult when students have different editions of books, please make every effort to buy the edition of each novel that I have listed here. You can use the ISBN number and name of the publisher to make sure that you're purchasing the same edition.  
The coursepack will be available for purchase at the start of the semester. Please note that Accu-Copy only accepts cash or checks. 
Thanks, and I look forward to meeting you, 
Prof. Sweeney
ISBN: 0486419312
Incidents in the life of a slave girl, Author: Harriet Jacobs., Publisher: Dover Publications 2001
ISBN: 0062001701
Their eyes were watching God : a novel, Author: Zora Neale Hurston ; with a foreword by Edwidge Danticat and an afterword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Publisher: Harper Perennial 1st Harper 2010
ISBN: 0883780615
Maud Martha, Author: Gwendolyn Brooks., Publisher: Third World Press 1st Third 1993
ISBN: 0307388131
Sula, Author: Toni Morrison., Publisher: Vintage International 1st Vintag 2004
ISBN: 0140285806
Paradise, Author: Toni Morrison., Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf 6th printi 1998
ISBN: 0807063193
Eva's man, Author: Gayl Jones., Publisher: Beacon Press Reprinted. 1987
ISBN: 9780970247261
A project chick, Author: Turner, Nikki., Publisher: Triple Crown Publications 2004
ISBN: 9780435905552
So long a letter, Author: Ba?, Mariama., Publisher: Heinemann 1989
ISBN: 9780931188749
Nervous conditions : a novel, Author: Dangarembga, Tsitsi., Publisher: Seal Press 1989
ISBN: 1558610650
Changes: A Love Story, Author: Ama Ata Aidoo, Publisher: Feminist Press at CUNY 1993
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