ENGL 309
Thinking Diaspora: The Black Atlantic and Beyond
Last Offered Fall 2018
Division I
Cross-listed WGSS 308 / AMST 308 / COMP 300
This course is not offered in the current 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, Omise’eke Tinsley. and Vanessa Agard-Jones. Primary texts will include The Big Sea by Langston Hughes, Sugar and Slate by Charlotte Williams, Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, and more.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 1695
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
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
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 308 Division II AMST 308 Division II ENGL 309 Division I COMP 300 Division I
Attributes: ENGL Criticism Courses

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