Fall 2011 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Towner, Theresa
Discipline and Number
HUSL 7372 Section 001
M Time 10:00 AM - 12:45 PM
Course Title
African-American Novel

Description of Course:


The African American novel has its beginnings in the American slave narrative and in a social agenda that evolved during and after slavery: early black writers sought to educate the mass of reading white Americans about the nature and extent of black America’s experience in and after the “peculiar institution” of slavery. The literary tradition descending from the early novels continues to reflect those activist beginnings even as it modifies them to incorporate the modern tradition of the novel as it stretches from Henry James to John Barth. In this course we will read intensively six representative modern examples of the twentieth century African American novel, and students will present oral reports on novels not on our general reading list in order to describe the major contours of this compelling tradition in American literature.

Required Texts:

The texts below are available at the UTD Bookstore, Off-Campus Books, and commercially. Please use the editions specified.

James Weldon Johnson, et. al., Three Negro Classics (Avon)
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., ed., The Classic Slave Narratives (Signet)
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (Harper Perennial)
Richard Wright, Native Son (Perennial Classics unexpurgated version)
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (Vintage International)
Alice Walker, The Third Life of Grange Copeland (Harcourt Harvest)
Toni Morrison, Beloved (Vintage International)
David Bradley, The Chaneysville Incident (Harper & Row)

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Course requirements include attendance, active participation, an oral report, and a final essay.

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