AAS 374 - Readings in African American Literature
Winter 2022, Section 001 - Black Writers Respond: Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century African American Literature
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is   Hybrid (see other Sections below)
Subject: Afroamerican & African Studies (AAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:


In this course we will study African American literature written after the abolition of slavery (1865), covering African American history from the late nineteenth century period known as the "nadir" (lowest point), through the early 20th century moment that gave birth to the "New Negro" of the Harlem Renaissance (1920s). The writers from this period expressed both pessimism about post-Civil War racial violence in the US and optimism about African Americans' new opportunities for civic and cultural legitimacy.  Their novels, short stories, prose and poetry demonstrate that African American writers saw literature as critical to shaping ongoing national debates about freed people’s rights to citizenship.  We will explore  how black writers depicted differences within black communities through dialect, invocations of the “folk” and assertions of a "new negro" in their efforts to craft new political forms of racial identity at a time that was supposed to harbor great promise for "freedmen" (formerly enslaved individuals) and their descendants.  In our studies we will try to answer a key question:  How did African American writers respond to the rise of Jim Crow and the racial violence that established white supremacy in the South? And, more importantly, what do those responses from the past tell us about our racial justice/injustice in our present?


AAS 374 - Readings in African American Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM

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