ENGL 152
Direct Action & Other Political Acts in Black Cultural Texts Spring 2018
Division I Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
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In this expository writing course we will write our way toward positions on the following questions while also developing stronger college essay skills. What sorts of actions become politicized differently when performed by black bodies? How do we map the dimensions of black direct action when mere eye contact, for example, once constituted an act of defiance against the racial order, punishable by death? How have the methods and aims of black direct action shifted over time? Where is the line between violence and nonviolence; when does it shift or blur? Together we will explore how various literary forms give shape and insight into the legacies of black political gestures and demands for freedom. Forms of cultural production to be examined in this course include slave narratives, memoir, speeches, zines, poetry, op-eds, manifestos, short stories, novels, film, visual art, and criticism.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 4035
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: response writing, 4-5 formal writing assignments totaling 20 pp. (including an engaged feedback process), creative assignments, final portfolio
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first year students, especially students with demonstrated need for help with analytical writing
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative

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