Thursday, June 29, 2023

Providing more Pathways

In African American literature, we've done a good job offering select courses that students enjoy. A class on Afrofuturism. A class on rap music. A class on film. You name it. The courses almost always count as electives. 

The bigger challenge has been figuring out how to provide courses that students enjoy and that can give them a viable opportunity to earn core major credits. In short, we need to provide them with pathways through the major. 

For me, that means becoming more involved in setting up courses in the English department that legitimately count toward the major. I took the first step several years ago by creating a major author course on Toni Morrison. Prior to that, students could choose between Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Milton for major authors. Now, we have Morrison added to the mix.

More recently, my colleagues and I in African American literature advocated to make our Black literature survey "count" alongside the various other survey courses in the department. 

But what else? We need to keep searching for ways to establish pathways through the major for students interested in African American literature. 


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