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African-American Women

Class at Faculty of Arts |


This course will consider the development of literature by African-American Women's from the colonial era to the present. Readings will include novels, stories, poems, a play, and essays, and texts will be studied in cultural, historical, and theoretical contexts. African American women have not always had fortuitous conditions to create literature; nonetheless they have produced enduring and provocative classics, exploring wide-ranging themes like endurance, celebration, family separations and reunions, traumas, and empowerment. Authors studied in the course will include Philis Wheatley, Harriet Jacobs, Frances Harper, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Cade

Bambara, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, and Octavia Butler. ​

List of major texts:

-- Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects (1773)

-- Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)

-- Nella Larsen, Passing (1929)

-- Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)

-- Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun (1959)

-- Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982)

-- Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)

-- Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower (1993)

Study programmes