ENGL 309
Thinking Diaspora: The Black Atlantic and Beyond Fall 2017
Division I Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed AMST 308 / ENGL 309
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Water imagery has been central to black diasporic culture since its beginnings in the Middle Passage–suggesting imprisonment, isolation, escape, ancestral communion, and death, for example. This course wrestles with the significance of water in diasporic literature–how it endures, how it has diminished, how it slips away from us. Black diaspora theory was revolutionized by Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic, which urged us to consider more deeply the role of the ship, the routes, and the roots entailed in the formation of diasporic consciousness. This course aims to expand students’ theoretical skills as we discuss cornerstone and cutting edge texts of diaspora theory, with an emphasis on theories that work with the relationship to water, such as those by Jacqueline Nassy Brown, Michelle Wright, and Vanessa Agard-Jones. Primary texts will include work by Paule Marshall, The Big Sea by Langston Hughes, Sugar and Slate by Charlotte Williams, interviews collected in the Georgia Writers Project’s Drums and Shadows, Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, and more. This course contributes to the College’s Exploring Diversity Initiative by developing facility with critical theories bridging rupture and kinship in the black diasporic world.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 1933
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly reading responses, presentations, one 10-page paper, engaged feedback process, and thoughtful class participation
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Enrollment Preferences: none
Distributions: Division I Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AMST 308 Division II ENGL 309 Division I
Attributes: ENGL Criticism Courses

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