This course is an introductory survey of African American Studies. Readings will include works of fiction, non-fiction, drama, and verse, from Phyllis Wheatley (b 1735) to D-Knowledge (b 1970); various forms of oral expression and music, from speeches of Sojourner Truth and Malcolm X, from spirituals to hip-hop; and artists from Jacob Lawrence to Kara Walker, and cultural critics/ intellectuals W.E.B. Du Bois, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., bell hooks, and Cornell West. Discussions will include overlapping theoretical, artistic, and historical issues: questions of assimilation, the Middle Passage, Slave Narratives, the Abolition Movement, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights movement, Black Nationalism, Womanism, the “Sundown Towns" of Illinois, writing as witness, and political resistance, among others.
EN 176: Introduction to African American Studies