ENGLISH 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: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/5/22 - 4/19/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


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?


ENGLISH 374 - Readings in African American Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
1/5/22 - 4/19/22

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for ENGLISH 374.001

View/Buy Textbooks


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.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ENGLISH 374 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)