Sunday, October 4, 2015

African American Literary Studies @ SIUE (Spring 2016)

We will offer the following African American literature courses in Spring 2016.

Note: Each of the courses fulfills the general education requirements for:
Humanities-Breath; Fine Arts & Humanities; US Cultures-Exp; Intergroup relations

ENG 205: Introduction to African American Texts (TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm) - Professor Elizabeth Cali
• This survey course is designed to introduce you to a range of African American texts including oral and written literary traditions. Course readings will include poetry, autobiography, short fiction and essays, music, audio, and film performances. Our goals will be to identify and trace prominent traditions, themes, and debates in African American literature across vast periods of time. Further, our survey of African American literature will look at the ways that African American textual artists created a wide variety of Black community and cultural expressions in rejection of destructive notions of white supremacy. We will practice and share critical reading and analysis skills through class and group discussion, short presentations, and various archival projects. Expect to be actively engaged in this class by participating in class and small group discussions, oral presentations, in-class annotations of readings, and brief in-class written reader responses.

ENG 342: Autobiographical Practices (online) - Professor Tisha Brooks 
• In this online course we will study the relationship between personal experience and writing by exploring a diversity of African American autobiographical texts, as well as works in other genres that use personal narrative as a rhetorical and stylistic tool. Our discussion of autobiography begins in the nineteenth-century and continues through our contemporary period. Along this journey, we will discover the many reasons Black writers have turned to memoir and life writing, seeking to answer the following questions: How do these writers negotiate the multiplicity of identity through their narratives? In what ways is identity fundamentally tied to space and place? What is the relationship between self and community? How do African American writers negotiate both public and private selves?

Through our online discussions and writing, we will pay particular attention to the ways in which racial, gender, class, religious and sexual difference shapes and, at times, limits autobiographical practices. Moreover, through short writing assignments, we will develop critical approaches to the primary texts in the course, while also drawing connections between these readings and our own personal experience. Since this is an online course, all readings will be available digitally, and the course will require reliable computer and internet access.

ENG 343:Biggie, Jay Z, or Nas? (TR 12:30 – 1:45 pm) - Professor Howard Rambsy II

“I’m from where [guys] pull your card
and argue all day about who’s the best MCs: Biggie, Jay Z, or Nas?” – Shawn Carter

• You already know the deal here. We’ll spend considerable time debating that age-old question: who’s the best MC? We’ll listen to, annotate, discuss, and write about lyrics by Rakim, Jay Z, Jay Elect, Big, Nas, Black Thought, Lauryn Hill, Nicki Minaj, Weezy, Yeezus, Kendrick, Dre3000, Big K.R.I.T., and on and on til the break of dawn. Given my day job as a literature professor, we’ll give some thought to how this rap game corresponds to and diverges from literary art. But mainly, we’ll focus on rap. Our conversations about the histories of hip hop and these “best MC” debates will assist us in building our argumentative, analytical, and writing skills. You down? Holla back.

African American Literature @ SIUE

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