HENB01141U English - Elective 3, topic 1: Black Women Writers in African American Literature

Volume 2015/2016

This course offers an introduction to the history, politics, and literature of black women writers in the United States from the 19th and 20th centuries. We explore varied contexts and texts, by authors ranging from Harriet Jacobs, Frances Harper, and Nella Larsen to Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Octavia Butler, to reflect on questions of genre, race  and gender in the formation of African American Literature. Literature and writing have become central tools for many black women writers to fight the legacies of slavery, sexual exploitation and racial segregation in the US. In our class, we will reflect upon how, in turn, this very interaction between politics and literary form has influenced the development of African American literature. To do so, we contextualize our literary analysis in the historic location of each black woman writer from an intersectional perspective and pay specific attention to the author’s use of genre, such as slave narratives, novels and autobiographies, and their representations of race and gender.  Students will learn to apply critical literary theory to analyze primary texts in our classroom discussions and should be able to recognize related themes, symbols, and narrative strategies that connect and differentiate the primary texts and their respective genres. By the end of the course, students should demonstrate knowledge of the texts, the authors, and an understanding of the literary and sociopolitical movements that shape their work.  

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 162,75
  • Total
  • 204,75
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assesment