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Global Black Voices

Read the works of black voices from around the world and examine stories of migration, struggle, equality, and liberation.

*CMLT235: Black Diaspora Literature and Culture (Nancy Vera)

This course will examine the forced and voluntary migration of Africans in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. A global view of African people's dispersal and a comparative examination of world history, culture, and literature will allow us to uncover common threads of racial formations from the colonial period to the present. Moreover, we will examine the role African writers and activists had in shaping the societies and nations they inhabited, whether voluntarily or by force.  After completing this course, students will understand how race, borders, and countries have been constructed from the colonial period to the present and the continuing role of writers in shaping history and society.  

To demonstrate proficiency in these topics, students can choose to demonstrate their understanding through different communication forms: essays, poems, podcasts, illustrative cartoons, collaborative writing projects, book reviews, blog entries, social media posts, Wikipedia article edits, or other creative projects.

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* ENGL360: African, Indian, and Caribbean Writers (Sangeeta Ray)

This course examines 20th- and 21st -century fiction, particularly novels, from South Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, focusing particularly on issues of migration and the refugee crisis. The novels will range in genre from realism to science/dystopian fiction to graphic novel.

In addition to critical response essays, students will have the opportunity to write a creative piece, book review, opinion piece for a newspaper, or other mode of public writing. They might also develop a multimedia project in which writing is just one component and in which they respond to films or art from the various regions alongside the novels we read.  

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* ENGL368J: Contemporary Black Literature (Sangeeta Ray)

In 1857, social reformer Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery in Maryland, delivered a “West India Emancipation” speech emphasizing the crucial role that the West Indian slaves played in their own freedom struggle. That speech began with what are today his most quoted words: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”

This class begins with this speech by Douglass and then moves outwards to Africa and the Caribbean, to the U.K. and Europe, and then back to North America, examining creative depictions of struggle and liberation. We will study novels and short stories, films, and art, and will attend to the revolutionary successes and failures of different Black populations around the globe and up to the present moment. We will close the course with #BlackLivesMatter and its spread globally with work from Saeed Jones, author of How We Fight for Our Lives.

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See the full list of Fall 2020 courses.