AFRAMER 180z. Freedom Writers: Race and Literary Form

Instructor: Jesse McCarthy
Monday & Wednesday, 10:30-11:45 am | Location: TBA

What does freedom have to do with our ability to read and write? How have writers addressed the conflicting and contradictory concept of race by writing about it? This course will investigate the history and practice of writing about the vexed relationship between race and freedom, the role of writing in political struggles for civil rights and the abolition of slavery, and the quest for a meaningful life and artistic freedom under conditions that deny that opportunity. We will read widely, primarily—though not exclusively—texts from (and about) the African diaspora from the 16th century to the present. Authors will include Ottabah Cugoano, Phillis Wheatley, Bartolomé de Las Casas, Sylvia Wynter, C.L.R. James, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells, W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Hilton Als and Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah. The final assignment will involve using the resources of the course to produce an original essay on a topic of your choice related to our themes.

This course satisfies the English Concentration "Diversity in Literature" requirement for students on the “Common Ground” curriculum.

This course satisfies the “1700-1900 Guided Elective" requirement for English concentrators and Secondary Field students.