Spring 2015

Black Women's Narratives and Counternarratives: Love and the Family

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-242  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-202


Aneeka A. Henderson (Section 01)


(Offered as SWAG 202  and BLST 242 [US].)  Why do love and courtship continue to be central concerns in black women's literature and contemporary black popular fiction?  Are these thematic issues representative of apolitical yearnings or an allegory for political subjectivity?  Drawing on a wide range of texts, we will examine the chasm between the "popular" and the literary, as we uncover how representations of love and courtship vary in both genres.  Surveying the growing discourse in media outlets such as CNN and the Washington Post regarding the "crisis" of the single black woman, students will analyze the contentious public debates regarding black women and love and connect them to black women's literature and black feminist literary theory.  Authors covered will range from Nella Larsen to Terry McMillan and topics will include gender, race, class, and sexuality.

Limited to 20 students.  Open to first-year students with consent of the instructor. Spring semester.  Professor Henderson.

If Overenrolled: First preference to sophomores and above who have had one SWAGS course


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2016