AAS 267, African American Literature, is a survey course that explores the early days of enslavement to the present. The course includes readings, analysis, and discussion of literary texts written by African Americans, paying particular attention to the political, historical, and social context that informs these texts.
The outpouring of creative expression known as the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s spawned a burgeoning number of black-owned cultural outlets, including publishing houses, performance spaces, and galleries. Central to the movement were its poets, who in concert with editors, visual artists, critics, and fellow writers published a wide range of black verse and advanced new theories and critical approaches for understanding African American literary art.
The Digital American Literature Anthology is a free, online textbook that surveys American literature from its beginnings to the early twentieth century. It is available in multiple digital formats, though specifically designed for tablets, laptops, and e-readers. The textbook has links to unit introductions, and multiple supplemental online resources.
These resources will allow you to investigate the key themes of Dickens's novels alongside original source material from the British Library. Literary manuscripts, newspapers, letters, workhouse menus and other collection items will help students open up the social, cultural, and political context in which Dickens was writing. This website includes performances by Simon Callow and discussions by Professor of English, John Mullan, filmed at the Charles Dickens Museum, London.
In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry examines trends in African-American criticism through the lens of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Toni Morrison. A brief history of African-American literature and criticism is undertaken, and the relationship of both to feminist theory is explicated. The problems in cultural and identity studies of essentialism, “the identity queue,” expropriation, and biology are surveyed, with particular attention paid to the work of Michael Cooke and Morrison’s reading of Huckleberry Finn. At the lecture’s conclusion, the tense relationship between African-American studies and New Critical assumptions are explored with reference to Robert Penn Warren’s poem, “Pondy Woods.”
English Literature: Victorians and Moderns is an anthology that provides annotated teaching editions of many of the most frequently-taught classics of Victorian and Modern poetry, fiction, and drama. Additionally, it also provides a series of guided research casebooks, which make available numerous published essays from open access books and journals, as well as several reprinted critical essays from established learned journals such as English Studies in Canada and the Aldous Huxley Annual with the permission of the authors and editors. Designed to supplement the annotated complete texts of three famous short novels: Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, each casebook offers cross-disciplinary guided research topics which will encourage majors in fields other than English to undertake topics in diverse areas, including History, Economics, Anthropology, Political Science, Biology, and Psychology. Selections have also been included to encourage topical, thematic, and generic cross-referencing. Students will also be exposed to a wide range of approaches, including new-critical, psychoanalytic, historical, and feminist.
From the white editorial authentication of slave narratives, to the cultural hybridity of the Harlem Renaissance, to the overtly independent publications of the Black Arts Movement, to the commercial power of Oprah's Book Club, African American textuality has been uniquely shaped by the contests for cultural power inherent in literary production and distribution. Always haunted by the commodification of blackness, African American literary production interfaces with the processes of publication and distribution in particularly charged ways. An energetic exploration of the struggles and complexities of African American print culture, this collection ranges across the history of African American literature, and the authors have much to contribute on such issues as editorial and archival preservation, canonization, and the "packaging" and repackaging of black-authored texts. Publishing Blackness aims to project African Americanist scholarship into the discourse of textual scholarship, provoking further work in a vital area of literary study.