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PS "African American Women's Literature"


Dozent(in): Monika Hottelet, M.A.
Termin: Dienstag 14:00 – 15:30 Uhr
Gebäude/Raum: 2127


Inhalt der Lehrveranstaltung:

Was Richard Wright right when he declared that Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) carried “no theme, no message, no thought?” Against all odds, e.g. male literary tradition, gender expectations, and rejection by critics, African-American women authors have transformed their experiences into literary texts.

The seminar will offer a survey of major developments in literary genres, themes, and the socio-cultural contexts in which African-American women’s literature has evolved. We will cover approximately two centuries, proceeding chronologically and concentrating on some of the important milestones. Additionally to the five seminal novels listed below, we will explore the writing of 18th century slave poet Phillis Wheatley, abolitionist oratory by Sojourner Truth, a slave narrative (Harriet Jacobs), and a couple of short stories (Pauline Hopkins and Alice Dunbar-Nelson). As a participant you will discover how African American women authors experimented with literary forms and “black” literary tradition, and reclaimed the history of slavery in the 20th century. Furthermore, you will learn to critically and actively engage with these texts, not only listening to the voices speaking out of them, but also questioning and responding to them, and to appreciate their inherent aesthetic qualities.     

Note: This is a reading-intensive, discussion-oriented course, so a number of short quizzes will support your willingness to carefully read the assigned primary literature.


Vorkenntnis für die Lehrveranstaltung:

Teilnahmevoraussetzungen: passed exam of the introductory course

Anforderungen für den Scheinerwerb: Regular attendance, active participation, short oral report, term paper


Literatur zur Lehrveranstaltung:

Harriet Jacobs.Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl [1861]

Frances E. Watkins Harper. Iola Leroy: Or Shadows Uplifted [1892]

Nella Larsen.Quicksand [1928]

Zora Neale Hurston. Their Eyes Were Watching God [1937]

Alice Walker. The Color Purple [1982]

Toni Morrison. Beloved [1987]

By October, there will be a reader with the shorter texts (Sekretariat Rm 4064).


weitere Informationen zu der Lehrveranstaltung:

empfohlenes Studiensemester der Lehrveranstaltung: Grundstudium
Fachrichtung Lehrveranstaltung: Amerikanistik (Magister), Englisch (Lehramt)
Nummer der Lehrveranstaltung: 05 234
Beginn der Lehrveranstaltung: 16. Oktober 2007
Dauer der Lehrveranstaltung: 2 SWS
Typ der Lehrveranstaltung: PS - Proseminar
Semester: WS 2007/08