AML 3271.1188 African American Literature
Survey 2 (1940 - present)

Summer A 2001 / MTWRF Per 2 (9:30 - 10:45 a.m.) / TUR 1315
Nick Melczarek, instructor Department phone: 392-6650
Office: Rolfs 5th floor e-mail
(send no attachments!)
Office hours: T&R Per 3 Office phone:
Course listserve:

"The Imagination that produces work which bears and invites rereadings, which motions to future readings as well as contemporary ones, implies a shareable world and an endlessly flexible language."
-- Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark (xii)

"Do not think that one has to be sad in order to be militant, even though the thing one is fighting is abominable. It is the connection of desire to reality (and not its retreat into the forms of representation) that possesses revolutionary force."
-- Michel Foucault, Preface to Deleuze & Guattari Anti-Oedipus (xiii-xiv)

(click to jump to the following sections)
Updated Schedule(s):

»»Course Purpose & Overview
AML 3271.1188 surveys short fiction, novels (some excerpts), drama, essays, and speeches by African American writers from the 1940s to the present. Our fiction readings are framed by historical background material, as well as contemporary theoretical discussion. While attending how African American literature intersected and participated in such (traditional) literary movements as realism, Naturalism, and Modernism (and the emerging fields of Postmodernism and Postcoloniality), we'll also investigate the developing process of self-identification for black Americans (born in the U.S.) and foreign blacks within the U.S. as reflected in their literatures.

In our readings, lectures, and course discussions (in class and on listserve) we'll investigate how a few primary tropes (the black intellectual, black self-identity, a black aesthetic) and images or discourses (ships, passage/"passing", Biblical reference, folk/oral tradition, Christianity, African legend) help to problematize three of the four keys terms in the course title: "African", "American" and "Literature." With reference to such thinkers as Toni Morrison, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Cornel West (U.S.A.); Frantz Fanon (France/Algeria); Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy (U.K./Caribbean); Homi Bhabha (India); Michel Foucault (France); and others, we'll trace the course of black identity in and through literature in the U.S. as both a product of social/ideological forces as well as a force itself.
(back to Contents)

»»Required Texts and Materials
books available at Wild Iris Books, 802 W. University Ave. (back to Contents)
»»Requirements and Grade Components (see Course Policies Page for details on quizzes and exams)
(back to Contents)
»»Course-Related Sites Links (back to Contents)