ENGL 342
Race and Feeling in Twentieth Century Literature Spring 2018 Division I; Exploring Diversity Initiative; Cross-listed as AFR345 / ENGL342
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Although we now take for granted that race is socially constructed, the terrain of racial feeling is less certain. In this course, we recognize that states of feeling are also socially constructed; they are marked and shaped by race and other categories. Questions concerning the circulation of feeling between individuals and their generative possibilities have preoccupied sociologists, psychologists, and literary theorists since the mid-1990s, and we will take up where they left off. In this course, we will study the ways in which literary representations of shame in African American literature offer insight into the interior lives of individuals who have been stigmatized by histories of disempowerment, trauma, and the real or imagined racialized gaze. We will analyze the influence of shame in works by such authors as James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, Alice Walker, James Baldwin, Sherley Anne Williams, Phyllis J. Perry, Toni Morrison, and E. Lynn Harris, and we will engage the ways in which shame, and its correlative feelings — guilt, pride, humiliation, and love — emerge in texts through various formal and aesthetic choices. We will also engage such theorists as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Sara Ahmed, Sianne Ngai, Heather Love, Darieck Scott, Erving Goffman, and Melissa Harris-Perry to assist us in our inquiry into the intersections of race, feeling, and literature. This course contributes to the College’s Exploring Diversity Initiative by examining the effects of racial power on emotions.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 25
Class#: 3896
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, two short essays of scholarly commentary on critical theory, midterm exam, 8- to 10-page paper
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
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 Preference: none
Distributions: Division I; Exploring Diversity Initiative;
Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AFR
Attributes: ENGL Criticism Courses

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