Department of English Department of English College of Arts and Sciences
Spring 2011 Course Descriptions

The course is designed both for non-specialists and for those wishing to build a foundation for more advanced work in African American literature and culture. Because nineteenth-century African American authors were often writing in response to slavery, discrimination, and racial and sexual violence, English 7/8330 will consider the political and cultural contexts of the writers, as well as the critical debates that have shaped our understanding of their texts.


Class Format:


This is an on-line or distance-learning course. As such, the course will consist of e-Courseware discussions and assignments rather than traditional in-class meetings.







Chesnutt, Charles W. The Marrow of Tradition. 1901. Penguin. ISBN: 0-14-018686-7.


Cooper, Anna Julia. A Voice from the South.  1892. Oxford UP. ISBN: 0-19-506323-6.



Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life. 1845. CreateSpace. ISBN: 978-1453874325.


Du Bois, W. E. B. The Souls of Black Folk. 1903. Penguin. ISBN: 0-14-018998-X.


Jacobs, Harriet. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. 1861. Bedford. ISBN: 978-0312442668.


Dunbar, Paul Laurence. Selected Poems. Penguin. ISBN: 978-0142437827.


Keckley, Elizabeth. Behind the Scenes; or, Thirty Years a Slave. 1868. U of Illinois P. ISBN: 978-0-252-07020-4.


Webb, Frank J. The Garies and Their Friends. 1857. Johns Hopkins UP, 1997. ISBN: 0-8018-5597-7.



Whitfield, James Monroe. America and Other Poems. 1853. On-line



Note: E-copies of most of the texts are available free on-line. The professor will provide links.




Verner Mitchel

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