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English 4582

The Twentieth-Century African American Novel


Credit hours: 3
GEC categories:
Prerequisites: ENG 1110/110, 2367/367 (or equivalents); 10 qtr hours or 6 semester hours in 200-300 or 2000-3000 level English courses or by permission of the instructor

Text Books:

Title Author(s) Publisher ISBN
The Marrow of Tradition Charles W. Chesnutt Norton
Cane Jean Toomer Norton
Sula Toni Morrison
The Known World Edward P. Jones

Example Syllabus:

Course Objectives: To advance students' knowledge of African American literature in the twentieth century. Fulfills Diversity Requirement for English majors who began in SU 2012 or later.

Course Content: African American literature is a series of engagements with identity, in all its great complexity. The novels featured in this class explore issues of social and regional mobility, gender and sexuality, and the pervasive legacy of slavery as it shapes individual and collective African American experiences in the twentieth century. Our discussions will take place in conversation with the texts’ historical and critical contexts to broaden our understanding of how African American lives have been depicted in literature over the course of the twentieth century.

Method of Presentation: Class discussion and short lecture

Method of Evaluation: Short essays, reading quizzes, and research project that includes an annotated bibliography and 8-10 page essay.


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