ENGL 220
Introduction to African American Writing Fall 2009
Division I Writing Skills
Cross-listed ENGL 220 / AFR 220 / AMST 220
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Toni Morrison has described her writing as guided by a musician’s imperative always to hold something in reserve, to leave her audience wanting something more. It’s a simple idea, but a strange one–that a reader’s desire might be fulfilled only by its increase, that its satisfaction requires that it is never enough. African American writing, in all its richness and variety, moves between never enough and something more; this course will introduce just a few of the historical experiences, intellectual currents, cultural resources, thematic preoccupations, and formal strategies encountered in this writing, and consider how and to what ends African American literary tradition(s) have been organized, in critical and polemical ways, by individual writers and scholars, and by artistic and political movements. We’ll forego the perspective of a grand overview, diving right in instead, and we won’t necessarily always reach for the best-known titles by the most famous authors. In any case, by the end of the course, you should be prepared to have more left to read than you did at the beginning.
The Class: Format: discussion/seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1631
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation and four or five short essays, totalling about 20-25 pages
Prerequisites: a 100-level English course
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students, sophomores, English majors who have yet to take a Gateway and Africana Studies concentrators
Unit Notes: meets Gateway and post-1900 requirements in English major only if registration is under ENGL
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST or AFR
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENGL 220 Division I AFR 220 Division II AMST 220 Division II
Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives
AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora
ENGL 200-level Gateway Courses

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