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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Mona Lisa Saloy
ENGL 258
Seattle Campus

Survey of Afro-American Literature

A chronological survey of Afro-American literature in all genres from its beginnings to the present day. Emphasizes Afro-American writing as a literary art; the cultural and historical context of Afro-American literary expression and the aesthetic criteria of Afro-American literature. Offered: jointly with AFRAM 214.

Class description

This survey of African American Studies will attempt to cover a broad sweep of the intellectual thought and literature, with attention to folk traditions, from its beginnings in Africa, the oral tradition there and in America, as documented in the slave narratives, through the major historical periods, including the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat era, the Black Arts Movement to the end of the twentieth century, with some consideration of the study as it is evolving today. Guided by significant historical and cultural events and the intellectual tradition in non-fiction prose, the goal is to gain an overview of the rich semantic tradition of Blacks in America in various literary genres, folk traditions, cultural and political movements, with attention to the aesthetic and ideological concerns throughout Black American literature and its origins in experience.

Student learning goals

Know an overview of the major literary texts in Black literature

Understand the historical events and movements influencing the literature and how the early literature acts as a respone to those forces

Understand the cultural aesthetics and forces aiding the survival of Blacks in America and informing the literature

Understand the thematic and aesthetic threads recurring in the literature over time

General method of instruction

Reading the intellectual tradition and creative literature, viewing films, listening to music, viewing visual art, with lectures, class discussion, critical reviews

Recommended preparation

Any as listed in the University of Washington catalogue; otherwise, all one needs is a willingness to learn and an openness to the truth of the Black American experience in literature

Class assignments and grading

Some traditional quizes, non-traditional quizes, one individual research paper, and one group research presentation with non-traditional mid-term and final exam

Grades are basedon the average performance on all assignments, quizes, exams, and research, though each value varies


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Mona Lisa Saloy
Date: 01/29/2007