Summer Courses | Rutgers University

488 Topics in American Studies: What is Black Literature Now?

Topics in American Studies: What is Black Literature Now? (21:050:488:HQ:03219)
Class Dates: 7/8 -8/14
Class Times: By Arrangement
Instructor: Lombardi
Location: Canvas
Format: Online
Credits: 3

This course will function like a summer reading group: we will read fiction and talk about it as a collective via Blackboard’s discussion board with several weekly touchpoints. Framing our discussion will be the question: “What is Black literature now?” That is, we will read novels and short stories published in the past few years to explore how writers use the imaginative space of fiction to evaluate the conditions of black life in the twenty-first century. The fiction we will read takes place in the United States, England, Africa, and the Caribbean. Therefore, we will examine black cultures and identities rooted in different historical experiences while paying close attention to how contemporary globalization and diasporas engender cross-cultural interactions and transformations. In addition to geographical and historical diversity, we will consider the ways gender, sexuality, and class affect racialized experience, and how these experiences impact black cultural expression. Lastly, we will pay attention to the ways popular media outlets and prestigious literary prizes are responding to and engaging with this body of literature, and we will attempt to determine what this says about the world we live in now.  

In addition to weekly discussion board participation, students will write a research paper on a chosen topic related to the theme of the course. Each week, we will focus on a different phase of the research and writing process. 

Writing intensive.

Cross-listed with 21:014:401:HQ:01981.

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