COMP 311
Experimental African American Poetry
Last Offered Fall 2013
Division II
Cross-listed AMST 307 / ENGL 327 / COMP 311 / AFR 301
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

Contemporary African American poets in various cities and towns across the nation–from New York City, Providence, and Newark to Durham, Chicago, and Los Angeles–are currently producing a vibrant and thriving body of formally experimental work, yet this poetry is largely unknown to readers both within and outside the academy. Formally innovative African American poetry defamiliarizes what we normally expect of “black writing” and also pushes us to question our assumptions and presumptions about black identity, “identity politics,” experimental writing (is the avant-garde implicitly raced?), formalism, socially “relevant” writing, the (false) dichotomy of form versus content, the black “community,” digital poetics, and other issues of race and aesthetics. This course will examine the work of living poets who range in age from 30’s to 80’s, including Amiri Baraka, Ed Roberson, Nate Mackey, Will Alexander, Harryette Mullen, Tyrone Williams, John Keene, Fred Moten, Erica Hunt, and Renee Gladman. We will also look at the work of some of their avant-garde predecessors in the twentieth century (such as Bob Kaufman, Gwendolyn Brooks, Norman Pritchard, Russell Atkins), as well as critical work by Mackey, Moten, and Aldon Nielsen, among others.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 1222
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: two papers (6-8 pp., 8-10 pp.), short response papers, oral presentation, and class participation
Prerequisites: none, though at least one previous literature course preferred
Enrollment Preferences: American Studies majors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST or AFR; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP or ENGL
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AMST 307 Division II ENGL 327 Division II COMP 311 Division I AFR 301 Division II
Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives
AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora

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