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African American Literature

1133-354-01, Spring 2005

Tuesday and Thursday, 7:00-8:20 pm

Dr. Cherie Ann Turpin, 202-274-5625 /


African-American Literature will be placed in the context of history and of major African-American social movements. This class will deepen your appreciation of significant African American contributions to American culture. We will trace certain techniques and themes which cut across literary forms of expression, the range of African influences (both historical and "recovered"), the ways in which African-American music and film inform literary modes of expression, the role of "race" and “gender” in identity, and the challenge of finding one’s own voice when the conventions of artistic expression and language use derive from a dominant culture.


The course aims to develop the skills needed to

engage in contextualizing literary works with respect to histories, social movements, and cultures

engage in analysis of form and structure

engage in assessing the New Negro/Negritude, Black Arts, Black Feminism, and the Black Atlantic as critical theories arising from the African American literary tradition.