Spring 2023

Foundations of African American Literature

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-152  |  English, as ENGL-252


Frank Leon Roberts (Section 01)


(Offered as ENGL-252 and BLST-152) This course is a survey of nineteenth and twentieth century African American literature (and its attendant scholarly criticism). We will begin in the nineteenth century with the literature of black freedom, bondage, and abolition (vis-à-vis the work of writers such as Frederick Douglass, Henry Box Brown and Harriet Jacobs). From there, we will move to the twentieth century canon with a focus on four major historical periods and “movements”: the Harlem Renaissance, 1940 and 1950s Naturalism and Realism, the Black Arts Movement, and black literature in the post-soul/post-civil rights eras.  Novelists and writers discussed will include Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Toomer, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Ann Petry, Lorraine Hansberry, August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Octavia Butler. Students should leave this course with a firm foundation in major debates/approaches to the study of African American literature.

Spring Semester. Professor Roberts.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on written work including weekly journal entries, readings, oral presentations, active in-class verbal participation, group work, in-class quizzes or exams, field work or trips, visual analysis, aural analysis, dramaturgical analysis, performance analysis.

BLST 152 - LEC

Section 01
M 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CONV 108
W 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CONV 108


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023