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ENGL 259 E - Early African American Lit

Campus: Urbana-Champaign


An introduction to the study of early African American literary and cultural production, ranging from the earliest writings by African descended people in British North America in the eighteenth century to the end of World War I. At each turn, we will situate texts in their cultural and historical contexts, attending not only to the specificity of a particular text's moment, but also to the forces of contingency and tradition at play in the construction of literary, cultural, and political communities. Throughout our discussions we will think about both the "African-ness" and "American-ness" of African American literature as collective and imaginative processes. Early African Americans wrote for a variety of reasons-philosophical, political, pleasurable, instrumental-and protesting slavery and racism was just one (albeit an important one) among many of those reasons. We will read letters, poems, sermons, songs, constitutions and bylaws for religious and civic organizations, stories

Option 1

Number of Required Visit(s): 0

Course Level: Undergraduate

Credit: 3

Term(s): Fall


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