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371-001 African American Women's Literature

Instructor: Roberta Maguire

Although slavery ended in1865, its legacy has haunted the nation up to the contemporary moment. In this course we will look at work by five women writers produced in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, investigating how they imaginatively grapple with that legacy and the role it plays in their protagonists' relationships and quest to claim themselves. We will start the semester with Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, then read Alice Childress's play Wedding Band, move on to Sherley Anne Williams's neo-slave narrative Dessa Rose, to Toni Morrison's A Mercy, and end with Jesmyn Ward's recently published Sing, Unburied, Sing. Students will help lead discussion, write a major paper, and take a final exam. 

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