ENGL 327
Experimental African American Poetry Fall 2019
Division I
Cross-listed ENGL 327 / AMST 307 / AFR 301
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Contemporary African American poets in various cities and towns across the nation–from New York City to Los Angeles, from Berkeley to Durham, N.C.–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. This formally innovative poetry defamiliarizes what we normally expect of “black writing” and pushes us to question our assumptions and presumptions about black identity, “identity politics,” the avant-garde (for example, is it 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. We will examine the writings of living poets, who range widely in age, and those of their avant-garde predecessors in the twentieth century. We will also be making links between this poetry and African American music and visual art.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 1031
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: two papers (6-8 pages and 8-10 pages), 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 I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENGL 327 Division I AMST 307 Division II AFR 301 Division II
Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives
AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora

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