2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
    Dec 02, 2022  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ENG 293 - Special Topics in African American Literature

Special Topics in African American Literature.  For undergraduate English majors this course satisfies the Period (D-3) requirement.  For English minors, this course counts as a 200-level English course.  May be repeatable for credit.


This course traces the speculative strain in 20thand 21stcentury African American literature, music, film, and visual art. The course is designed to help students refine their theoretical approaches to the study of second wave Afrofuturism and the Black Speculative tradition, and to help sharpen and broaden their critical thinking and analytical faculties through a study of selected works. During the course, students will evaluate the work of W.E.B. Du Bois, Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, Colson Whitehead, Janelle Monae, Sun Ra, Outkast, Kara Walker, and Marvel’s Black Panther. 


What is the African American Gothic? Scholars agree that African Americans have utilized the Gothic to highlight the horrors of the African American experience beginning with slave narratives up to the present day with films like Jordan Peele’s Get Out. In this course, we will examine and discuss the evolution of the use of the Gothic within African American literature starting with the era of chattel slavery. We will begin with the connection of the white fear of slave rebellion and how it connects to the concept of black monstrosity. It is through the basis of race creation, and the fear of the other, that we will follow the evolution of African American Gothic, focusing on historical atrocities such as Jim Crow segregation and police brutality. This course will investigate the African American Gothic utilizing philosophical, psychoanalytic, sociological, and historical approaches. It is a discussion-based course with minimal lecturing, so students are expected to read, participate, moderate, and be an active citizen in this class. For undergraduate English majors this particular rendition of the course satisfies the Period (D-3) or the Theory (E) requirement but cannot double-count.

Anticipated Terms Offered: Every year