Spring 2022

Women Writers of Africa and the African Diaspora

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-203  |  English, as ENGL-216  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-203

Formerly listed as: BLST-27


Carol Y. Bailey (Section 01)


(Offered as BLST 203 [D], ENGL 216, and SWAG 203) The term “Women Writers” suggests, and perhaps assumes, a particular category. How useful is this term in describing the writers we tend to include under the frame? And further, how useful are the designations "African" and "African Diaspora"? We will begin by critically examining these central questions, and revisit them frequently as we read specific texts and the body of works included in this course. Our readings comprise a range of literary and scholarly works by canonical and more recent female writers from Africa, the Caribbean, and continental America. Framed primarily by Postcolonial Criticism, our explorations will center on how writers treat historical and contemporary issues specifically connected to women’s experiences, as well as other issues, such as globalization, modernity, and sexuality. We will consider the continuities and points of departure between writers, periods, and regions, and explore the significance of the writers’ stylistic choices. Here our emphasis will be on how writers appropriate vernacular and conventional modes of writing.

Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Visiting Prof. C. Bailey.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: N/A Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.

This is preliminary information about books for this course. Please contact your instructor or the Academic Coordinator for the department, before attempting to purchase these books.

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
The New African Diaspora Okpewho, Isidore Amherst Books TBD
The Repeating Body: Slavery's Visual Resonance in the Contemporary Brown, Kimberly Amherst Books TBD
The Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities Heise, Ursula Amherst Books TBD
The Routledge Diaspora Studies Reader Stierstorfer, Klaus Amherst Books TBD
Here Comes the sun Dennis-Benn, Nicole Amherst Books TBD
Diasporic Women's Writing of the Black Atlantic Duran-Almarza, Emilia & Esther Alvarez-Lopez Amherst Books TBD
Girl, Woman, Other Evaristo, Bernardine Amherst Books TBD
A Tall History of Sugar Forbes, Curdella Amherst Books TBD
Our Sister Killjoy: or Reflections from a black-eyed Squint Aidoo, Ama Amherst Books TBD
Americanah Adichie, Chimamanda Amherst Books TBD
Meeting Points in Black/Africana Women's Literature Chukwuma, Helen Amherst Books TBD
Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination Morrison, Toni Amherst Books TBD
The Butterfly's Way Danticat, Edwidge Amherst Books TBD
The White Card: a Play in One Act Rankine, Claudia Amherst Books TBD
Father Comes Home from the Wars Parks, Suzan-Lori Amherst Books TBD
Transnational Negotiations in Caribbean Diasporic Literature Page, Kezia Amherst Books TBD
The Chosen One Brown, Echo Amherst Books TBD
Behold the Dreamers Mbue, Imbolo Amherst Books TBD
Halsey Street Coster, Naima Amherst Books TBD
The Three Mothers Tubbs, Anna Amherst Books TBD
Everything inside Danticat, Edwidge Amherst Books TBD
Wade in the Water Smith, Tracy Amherst Books TBD
God Help the Child Morrison, Toni Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2022