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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Louis O Chude-Sokei
AFRAM 358
Seattle Campus

Literature of Black Americans

Selected writings, novels, short stories, plays, poems by Afro-American writers. Study of the historical and cultural context within which they evolved. Differences between Afro-American writers and writers of the European-American tradition. Emphasis varies. Offered: jointly with ENGL 358.

Class description

Black Pulp Fictions:

This course focuses on African-American genre or “pulp” writing produced over the course of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Ranging from detective narratives to science fiction, fantasy, street literature and subgenres specific to black writing in America, this material is often marginalized or simply ignored by mainstream scholarship, history or criticism due to its refusal to conform to mainstream tastes, values or culture; and as such it becomes a perfect vantage point from which to make sense of what counts as “mainstream” or “literature” at any given time and place. We will discuss this often-controversial material not just as an alternate history of racial politics, but also as a heretical history of America itself and its popular literatures. Writers may include, Samuel R. Delany, George Schuyler, Pauline Hopkins, Zane, Rudolph Fisher, Octavia Butler, Chester Himes, Sam Greenlee, Iceberg Slim, N.K. Jemison, Tananarive Due, Donald Goines and LA Banks.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Exams, discussion participation and very short writing assignments.


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 Louis O Chude-Sokei
Date: 05/30/2013