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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Black American Fiction (ENLI10341)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will provide a thorough introduction to African American fiction, from the nineteenth-century to the present day. All texts will be studied in both their socio-historical and theoretical contexts, and distinctive narrative patterns will be evaluated. Key areas of 'cultural' interest - including the "Harlem Renaissance" (1920's/30), the "Black Aesthetic" movement (1960's/70) - will be considered alongside broader social and political events: slavery and its abolition, post-Civil War "Reconstruction", segregation and "Jim Crow", Panafricanism, the Civil Rights Movement and others. Although the primary texts are all narrative prose fiction, we will also read poetry and non-fictional prose as supporting material.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Essential course texts
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Other Study Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) one hour autonomous learning group
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 Coursework Essay of 2,500 words (30%);
1 Final essay of 3,000 words (60%)
Class participation mark (10%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students should be able to discuss distinctive attributes of Black American fiction and to be able to historicize these.
  2. Students should be able to explain and employ key relevant theoretical approaches
  3. Students should be able to account for formal innovations in the literature
  4. Students should be able to historically contextualise the literature
  5. Students should be able to refer to non-primary materials to explain Black American literary developments
Reading List

Phillis Wheatley, Selected poems (c1770) [poems on LEARN]
Frederick Douglass, ┐The Heroic Slave┐ (1852)
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903)
Jean Toomer, Cane (1923)
Nella Larsen, Passing (1929)
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)
Richard Wright, Native Son (1940) & ┐The Man Who Lived Underground┐ (1942)
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)
Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo (1972)
Toni Morrison, Paradise (1997)

Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., and McKay, Nellie Y., eds. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Second edition. New York; London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004.
Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African American Literary Criticism. New York; Oxford. Oxford University Press, 1989.
Ginsberg, Elaine K. Passing and the Fictions of Identity. Durham, NC; London: Duke University Press, 1996.
Hutchinson, George, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Harlem Renaissance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Kaplan, Carla. The Erotics of Talk: Women┐s Writing and Feminist Paradigms. New York; Oxford. Oxford University Press, 1996.
Mitchell, Angelyn. Within the Circle: an anthology of African American literary criticism from the Harlem Renaissance to the present. Durham, NC; London: Duke University Press, 1994.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Numbers are limited and students taking degrees not involving English or Scottish literature need the written approval of the head of English Literature.
KeywordsENLI10341 Black American
Course organiserDr Keith Hughes
Tel: (0131 6)50 3048
Course secretaryMiss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
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