Winter 2019 HC 222H: African American Poetry and Poetics

Winter 2018-2019

Professor: Corbett Upton

4 credits

CRN 27651: Tuesday & Thursday, 08:30 - 09:50 @ 202 CHA.

This course will explore a wide variety of African American poetry and statements on poetics from the colonial period to the present. We will consider the politics of poetic form and identity with an emphasis on the debates about the relationship of national and racial identity and poetic form that have shaped and continue to shape African-American poetry in the United States

Within this historical framework we will examine questions concerning the oral and vernacular traditions, Anglo-European forms, the black aesthetic, and the function of poetry across various historical periods. Within this historical range will explore in depth the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement, two important movements that generated a wealth of poetry and writing about African-American literary history and aesthetics.

Students will be encouraged to develop their critical reading and academic writing skills and practice literary and theoretical analyses. We will read a wide range of poetry, including work by Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Essex Hemphill, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Danez Smith and many more.