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Course Detail

Black Literary Theory (=ENG 483)

Instructor
Bertholf

(Cross-listed with ENG 483)

This course will bring together readings both literary and critical/theoretical, beginning with Frantz Fanon's seminal Black Skin, White Masks (1952). Taking Fanon as its point of departure, then, this course will necessarily turn to a discussion of the recent discourse on Afro-pessimism and black optimism, attempting to introduce students to important issues and questions of race, race relations, anti-black racism, black sociality, the universality of whiteness, the fungibility of the black body, and of the vulnerability and precarity of black life; and together we will think more closely about how the complex and "unthinkable" histories of slavery, colonialism, and the Middle Passage, for examples, continue to challenge the representational limits and potentialities of traditional literary genres and modes of emplotment. In addition to Fanon, authors will include Orlando Patterson, Toni Morrison, Hortense Spillers, Saidiya Hartman, Frank Wilderson, Jared Sexton, and Fred Moten.

Counts as a humanities elective for the Africana Studies major.
Counts as a senior seminar and fulfills the diversity requirement for the English major.
Counts as a literature elective for the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.


Prerequisites: