ENGL 238
1930s Black Literature Fall 2024
Division I Writing Skills
Cross-listed AFR 260

Class Details

This course explores Black literary output of the 1930s in all its forms with the belief that this often under-appreciated decade contains many of the impulses that would come to structure the literary landscape in the decades that follow. These include an unflinching embrace of humor and satire, engagements with social realism, and a keen attention to notions of the radical in the international context. Special attention will be paid to how the writing pushes away from the development of what we have come to understand as the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. Work to be considered throughout the term comes from, among others, Marita Bonner, Arna Bontemps, Sterling Brown, Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston, George Schuyler, Dorothy West, Richard Wright, and Octavia Wynbush.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1630
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly reading responses, active class participation, two close readings (500 words each), annotated bibliography, class presentation, final paper (8-10 pages)
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- and second-year students, and English majors who have yet to take a Gateway course
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AFR 260 Division II ENGL 238 Division I
WS Notes: Beyond the quantity of assigned writing, significant class time will be spent covering strategies for effective and persuasive academic writing. Throughout the semester, students will receive written feedback from the instructor with specific suggestions for revision and improvement.
Attributes: AFR Black Landscapes
AMST Arts in Context Electives
ENGL 200-level Gateway Courses
ENGL Literary Histories C

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