Hip-Hop artists signify as “the dirty South” the distinct sounds, rhythms, landscapes, gestures, desires as well as frustrations of Black residents living in the southernmost regions of the U.S. American continent. In this course, students will examine what the South means to American concepts and how the South is used to make meaning in literature, music, art, digital archives, and film. We will give particular attention to how representations of the South are informed by region, gender, sexuality, and class. At the end of the course, students will be able to identify Black southern aesthetics across various genres and mediums with attention to historical and regional specificity despite the opacity of these categories. Potential artists include Jean Toomer, Alice Walker, Ernest Gaines, William Faulkner, Jesmyn Ward, Zora Neale Hurston, Natasha Trethewey, E. Patrick Johnson, Trudier Harris, Kiese Laymon, Julie Dash, Spike Lee, Askia Muhammad Touré, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Alison Janae Hamilton, Outkast, DJ Khalid, Beyoncé Knowles, and Solange Knowles.
The Class: Format: Seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: four or five writing assignments that total about 20 pages; discussion facilitation
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: first-years and sophomores
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
WS Notes: Students will develop a writing practice through short in-class assignments that culminate in four or five formal submissions. Students will receive group as well as one-on-one feedback on useful writing principles. Feedback will focus on structure, style, argumentation, and audience.
DPE Notes: Students will analyze the "shaping of social differences, dynamics of unequal power, and processes of change" in the South. Students will discover how region impacts race, gender, sexuality, and class.
Attributes: ENGL 200-level Gateway Courses