English | Literature & Society
L779 | 23603 | Hutchinson

L779  23603 HUTCHINSON (#5)
Literature & Society

1:00p – 4:00p R


This seminar will explore the phenomenon of the Negro Renaissance,
more popularly known as the Harlem Renaissance, a movement that
helped establish the varied institutional, ideological, and
aesthetic trajectories of most African American creative writing of
the twentieth century while profoundly influencing transatlantic
black intellectual work more generally.  Major issues include
the “politics” of culture, the historicity of race and its
relationship to place, theories of diaspora, the relationship
between “race” and “culture,” the uses of the “folk” in modernism,
the relationship between nationalism and racial identity in the
United States, race and sexuality, interactions between black
writing and the publishing industry; and modernist exchanges between
Paris and New York, Harlem and Greenwich Village, black popular
culture and “high art.”   Authors include Langston Hughes, Alain
Locke, Nella Larsen, Jean Toomer, James Weldon Johnson, Wallace
Thurman, Eric Walrond, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, and
others.  Secondary work will include studies on diaspora theory,
literary modernism, political radicalism, and race by such authors
as Paul Gilroy, Brent Edwards, Michelle Stevens, Houston A. Baker,
Jr., Barbara Foley, Hazel V. Carby, and others.

Required work will include thoughtful participation in class
discussions, informal writing on the course material posted online
by the night before each seminar meeting, one 15-minute
presentation, a conference-style paper abstract, and a 20-page
seminar paper.  The last two weeks of the course will be devoted to
seminar papers.

I ask that you read The Cambridge Companion to the Harlem
Renaissance (to be published in June 2007) before the first class
session.   It should provide a useful overview of main issues,
texts, and contexts (often by major scholars in the field), as well
as an extensive selected bibliography that will help you situate
your own interests in relation to the subject matter.