African-American Lit.  371/1A

Time: 14-15:15 pm; Classroom # 4089


Off. Hours: M/W 12:20-01:15 p.m. or by appointment




Course Description


Required Texts:


African-American Lit.  371/1A

Time: 09-09:50 am; Classroom # 208


Off. Hours: S/T/Thu 11:00:00-11:50





Required Texts:

1. Gates, Henry Louis Jr., Ed. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Vols. 1 & 2.  NY: W. W. Norton, 2004.
3rd. Edition.

2.  Morrison, Toni.  Beloved.  NY:  Vintage, 2004. [Novel]

Optional Text:

1.  Harmon, William. A Handbook to Literature. NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000.

2. Hacker, Diana. A Pocket Style Manual. NY: Bedford / St. Martin's, 2004. no need to buy it if you have the MLA Guidelines for Research.

Course Description:

This course focuses on writings by African-Americans from the mid-18th century to the contemporary period.  Early texts will include the poetry of Phyllis Wheatley and Paul Laurance Dunbar, and slave narratives by Frederick Douglass and others. Non-fiction will include discussions of work by WSB Du Bois and Booker T. Washington.  Particular attention will be paid to the literature of the Harlem Renaissance (Jean Toomer, Claude McKay), to the post-World War II and Civil Rights period (Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes), and to contemporary work by Toni Morrison and others.  The course will consider how African-American literature has engaged with politics, migration and urbanization, the formation of cultural identity, notions of freedom, and racism

Courseís Objectives:

1. To develop
 awareness of history and development of African-American literature
2. To
analyze literary texts in historical/cultural contexts
3.  To develop awareness of literature as cultural product

4.  To interpret different forms of literary expression

5. To write critically

6.  To develop reading and analytical skills

Grading Policy & Course Requirements:

1. Presentations: 15%

You are responsible for a total of Three presentations for this course. Be creative in your presentations. You need to reserve a topic from the syllabus for your presentation ASAP.

3.   Critical Responses: 10%

Reader's responses will be one of the assignments you will complete for this course. The response will be especially useful because it will help you develop and catalog ideas that you will be able to use in your exams and final paper. A useful source of information and discussion will be dialoguing with one another. You are responsible for a total of 2 , 2pages, typed  responses on the assigned texts from the course's syllabus. In such an assignment you will merely formulate your critical opinion about a certain text in a good thesis which youíll defend in the body of your essay and in the end restate. The topic for the response would be any of the texts covered before the assigned deadline that will be announced before the due dates. You need to follow the MLA guidelines in formatting your document. These guidelines are available in Diana Hackerís A Pocket Style Manual listed above and can also be accessed on-line via the following link: You will need to register first as a student to be able to access it. No research is necessary for such an assignment. The due dates for journals are marked in your syllabus. Zeroes are registered for assignments submitted late or copied. If the problem with the work is cleared up within the week, the paper will be graded but a letter grade lower will be the consequence of tardiness in completing assigned work. Plagiarism will not be tolerated in any of the assignments for this course. Failure to abide by this rule will incur an "F" in the assignment.


5. Quizzes & HWs 20%

Pop quizzes & H.W.s will be given throughout the term.  The aim of these assignments is to ensure that you're reading the required assignments and you're on track.


6.  Final Project 40%

You're expected to choose a topic and produce an outline with a list of helpful bibliography by Monday, March 30.  The due date of your final research project is Mon., April 20th. The final project  should be a written research paper of 10 to 12 pages.  The presentation of this project will be during the last week of classes, which is marked on your syllabus.  You need to include three of the literary texts that we've covered during the term.  One of these texts should be Morrison's Beloved.  Talk to me individually about your research should you decide not to choose Morrison's novel.  You should consult at least 4 published secondary research on your topic. MLA formatting should be applied to your research paper as well.


Important dates:


 Mon., 20th. April

Final Research Paper Due

Last week of classes

W-M 22-26/4

 Final Project's presentations

Thu. 30th. April

Classes End