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06.10.2022 03:10:29
Seminar: 3.02.120 S Nineteenth-Century African-American Novels - Details
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General information

Course name Seminar: 3.02.120 S Nineteenth-Century African-American Novels
Course number 3.02.120
Semester SoSe2021
Current number of participants 25
expected number of participants 36
Home institute Institute of English and American Studies
Courses type Seminar in category Teaching
First date Tue., 13.04.2021 10:00 - 12:00, Room: (online)
Pre-requisites Mandatory for this class are the following requirements:
- regular attendance of the scheduled online meetings;
- preparations for our course, including the written assignments/reading questions;
- the active participation in the in-class discussions.
Lehrsprache englisch
ECTS points 6

Course location / Course dates

(online) Tuesday: 10:00 - 12:00, weekly (14x)

Module assignments


Despite the fact that the American institution of slavery prohibited the majority of African Americans from acquiring reading and writing skills, there nevertheless developed a remarkably rich body of Black literature throughout the 19th century. In this class, we study several fictional texts by Black authors in order to explore the relationship between the fast-changing socio-political contexts that shaped them and their modes of narration, as well as their imaginative and aesthetic expressions. We will begin with Frederick Douglass’s revision of his first slave narrative as a work that enhances this dominant Black genre of the first half of the 19th century, offering an entry into a period of a much more variegated literary production. Guiding questions for our seminar are: What are these novels’ major concerns regarding the social place and civil participation of Blacks in (postbellum) America? How does Black fiction represent the tension between socio-economic progress and the burdens of a “double consciousness”? In what ways – discursively and imaginatively – do authors articulate the concerns, visions, and struggles of Blacks at the time?

Please note: This course will take place online. Please check for news and updates on Stud.IP and the syllabus once it is available. Active participation is mandatory, also in online class sessions.

Please purchase and read the following primary texts:
- Frederick Douglass, My Freedom and My Bondage. 1855. W.W. Norton, 2020. [preferably]
- Harriet E. Wilson. Our Nig: Sketches From the Life of a Free Black. 1859. Ed. by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Richard J. Ellis. New York: Vintage, 2011.
- Charles W. Chesnutt. The Marrow of Tradition. 1901. W.W. Norton, 2012. [preferably if you manage to get a hold of it; if that is not possible, choose an edition that includes an introduction]
As the CvO-bookstore has closed, please make sure that you order these novels as soon as possible.

Admission settings

The course is part of admission "Anmeldung gesperrt (global)".
Erzeugt durch den Stud.IP-Support
The following rules apply for the admission:
  • The admission is locked.