ENGL 136
Slavery and the Making of a Literary Tradition Spring 2018 Division I; Writing-Intensive; Exploring Diversity Initiative; Cross-listed as ENGL136 / AFR136
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How has the subject and iconography of slavery continued to preoccupy the American literary and cultural imagination? In this course, we will examine the transatlantic circulation of ideas regarding race, nation, citizenship, self-mastery, agency, and freedom in colonial and antebellum America and consider how these debates have continued to the present. We will read such authors as Phyllis Wheatley, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Wilson, William Faulkner, Mark Twain, and Toni Morrison. Forms will include poetry, slave narratives, novels, advertisements, broadsides, pamphlets, and other ephemera. We will also view cinematic representations of slavery, such as WGN’s Underground, the adaptation of Solomon Northrop’s 12 Years a Slave, and Issa Rae’s parody “Due North” in Insecure. This course contributes to the College’s Exploring Diversity Initiative by interrogating the social, political, and economic legacies of American slavery in contemporary society.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3895
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, 4 short papers totaling about 20 pp.
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: first-year students who have not taken or placed out of a 100-level ENGL course
Enrollment Preference: none
Distributions: Division I; Writing-Intensive; Exploring Diversity Initiative;
Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AFR

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