In order to strengthen the objective of enhancing students’ knowledge of cultural diversity and international perspective, it is critically important to include African-American Literature in the academic discussions of and lectures on American literature. The Majors program aims at the literary tradition of the predominant White American Literature with selective literary works by African-American writers. Hence, this course provides a different perspective on American literature with a core emphasis on the significant African-American writers and their groundbreaking literary works which greatly reflect on the marginalized literature and contemporary society.
W.E.B. Du Bois states in The Souls of Black Folk, “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line,－the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea” (9). With this notion in mind, this seminar critically investigates the theme of race in African-American Literature and examines how racial identity and inequality manifest in the selective literary works of four important African-American writers－Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison－in the 20th century. Furthermore, general knowledge of the historical and social backgrounds of the contemporary African-American society (e.g., Harlem Renaissance, Realism, Modernism, Civil Rights Movement, Black Arts Movement, etc.) will be introduced in order to solidify the understanding of the struggle of racial equality and advancement.
1.Baldwin, James. Sonny’s Blues. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Ed. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay. New York: Norton, 1997. 1694-1717.
2.Morrison, Toni. Beloved. New York: Vintage, 2004.
3.Hughes, Langston. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. Ed. Arnold Rampersad. New York: Vintage, 1995.
4.Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. 1st Harvest ed. Orlando, Florida: Mariner, 2003.
1.Baldwin, James. “My Dungeon Shook”. James Baldwin: Collected Essays. New York: Libr. of Amer., 1998. 291-95.
2.Hughes, Langston. “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain.” The Nation. 23 June 1923. 14 Apr. 2014. < http://hisblkamerica2012.voices.wooster.edu/files/2012/01/Microsoft_Word__The_Negro_Artist_and_the_Racial_Mountain.pdf>.
3.Walker, Alice. On Stripping Bark from Myself. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Ed. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay. New York: Norton, 1997. 2379.
4.Walker Alice. Women. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Ed. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay. New York: Norton, 1997. 2377-78.
5.Morrison, Toni. “An Interview with Toni Morrison.” Contemporary Literature. by Nellie McKay. 24.4 (1983): 413-29. 14 Apr. 2014. < http://www.jstor.org/ stable/1208128>.
|評分項目 Grading Method||配分比例 Grading percentage||說明 Description|
|Attendance and class participationAttendance and class participation
||15||Students may fail the course with more than 3 absences|
|Literary responsesLiterary responses
||20||4 literary responses are required throughout the semester. Please note that any form of plagiarism will result in the failure of the course.|
|Oral presentationsOral presentations
||25||Students will be asked to have two class presentations on the African-American writer and racial issues. Please note that any form of plagiarism will result in the failure of the course.|
|Final research paperFinal research paper
||40||A 6-8 page research paper with the correct MLA format is required. Please note that any form of plagiarism will result in the failure of the course.|