Department of English Department of English College of Arts and Sciences
Course Descriptions
Dr. Shelby Crosby


scrosby1@memphis.edu

In this course we will read and examine the slave narrative. The slave narrative, as a genre, develops out of the abolitionist movements need for a first person experience that would substantiate their abolitionist platform. As well, it develops out of the need for the American slave to give voice to their experience and fight for the end of slavery in their own words. While the slave narrative can be seen as propaganda, it is also a radical endeavor taken up by the slave for themselves and their communities. In our reading of these narratives we will examine how the authors created their texts and why? What was their motivation? How were these narrative used? And, most importantly, how do these authors maintain their individuality while fighting for their communities?

Tentative Reading List:

  • Frederick Douglass Autobiographies--9780940450790--Frederick Douglass

  • Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl--9780674002715--Harriet Jacobs

  • Running a Thousand Miles to Freedom-9780820321042--William and Ellen Craft

  • Kindred--9780807083697--Octavia E. Butler

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Last Updated: 3/6/12