Department of English Department of English College of Arts and Sciences
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Certificate in African American Literature

The graduate certificate program provides training to students interested in teaching African American literature.  The 15 credit-hour program provides students with the background necessary to develop African American literature programs for elementary or secondary classrooms. The certificate is an ideal way for current and future teachers to highlight their expertise in African American literature for career advancement and employment.

Students must choose 12 credit hours from graduate African American literature courses.

  • ENGL 7325 African American Literature, 1930-1960 
  • ENGL 7326 African American Literature of Memphis and the Mid-South
  • ENGL 7327 Studies in Form and Genre: African American Literature
  • ENGL 7328 Studies in Major Authors: African American Literature
  • ENGL 7329 African American Literature, Beginnings to 1850
  • ENGL 7330 African American Literature, 1850-1900
  • ENGL 7331 Frederick Douglass
  • ENGL 7332 Literature of the African Diaspora
  • ENGL 7333 Amiri Baraka
  • ENGL 7334 The Black Arts Movement
  • ENGL 7335 African American Literature, 1989-Present
  • ENGL 7336 African American Literary Theory
  • ENGL 7465 African American Literature 1960 to 1988
  • ENGL 7468 Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
  • ENGL 7469 African American Women Writers

Three (3) elective hours may be selected from an additional African American literature course or one of the following courses, provided it has an African American Literature component:

  • ENGL 7323 American Literature to 1865 
  • ENGL 7324 American Literature, 1865-1914
  • ENGL 7391 Modern American Novel
  • ENGL 7392 American Poetry
  • ENGL 7393 American Drama
  • ENGL 7464 Contemporary American Literature 

Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisor and the Coordinator of the African American Literature Concentration to meet these goals.

Admissions Requirements

  • Students eligible to take courses as non-degree seeking students at the University of Memphis can complete the certificate requirements.
  • Applicants should send a letter of intent and two letters of recommendation to the Department of English Graduate Office. Applicants need to apply to both the University of Memphis Graduate School and the Department of English Graduate Office.  
  • An overall minimum grade point average of 2.75 in English or a related area is recommended at the undergraduate level.
  • Since up to 12 credit hours from the certificate program may count toward the MA, MFA, or PhD degrees, it is expected that many already-admitted students will earn the certificate on their way to their degrees. Such students wishing to earn the Certificate must notify the Department of English Director of Graduate Studies in writing.

For more information about the African American Literature certificate program, contact Dr. Reginald Martin at (901) 678-4513, Patterson 441. For more information about the English graduate programs, contact Ms. Sarah Ellis in the English Graduate Office, Patterson 425, (901) 678-1448.

For more information:

Department of English Graduate Admissions
Graduate Catalog
Video Introduction to the African American Literature Concentration (YouTube)

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Last Updated: 7/7/14