This course examines some of the rich and diverse writings by Afro-American women writers from the 1760s to the 1900s. The primary texts will include the late eighteenth-century poetry of Phillis Wheatley, excerpts from the mid-century slave narrative by Sojourner Truth, the abolitionist and anti-racist novel by Harriet E. Wilson, and the late nineteenth-century and turn-of-the-century (serial) novels by Frances E. W. Harper and Pauline E. Hopkins. Clearly shaped by the racial, social, and economic contexts of US-American slavery and postbellum developments, these women provide sharp-sighted insights into racial oppression, the fight for black emancipation as well as their self-empowerment as human beings in general and as women in particular. At the same time, their diverse literary and cultural productions powerfully demonstrate their participation in discourses about democracy, national identity, racial oppression and resistance, as well as African-American women’s intellectual and artistic accomplishments. By combining primary and theoretical texts, this class seeks to acquaint students equally with concepts of race theory, the African American vernacular tradition and the emergence of an African American (women’s) literary tradition.
Please note: This course begins 10 April. You find the requirements for preparation (readings and course preparations) for our first session in the syllabus, which is uploaded on Stud.IP. Be aware that some of our sessions will last from 16.00 s.t.-18.00 s.t. to make up for the cancelled first session. Please purchase and read the following primary texts: Harriet E. Wilson, Our Nig: Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (1859); Frances E. W. Harper, Minnie’s Sacrifice (1869) and Pauline E. Hopkins, Hagar’s Daughter (1901-1902). Students will be required to write response papers to the primary texts (500-600 words).
The course is part of admission "Anmeldung gesperrt (global)".
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