Introduction to Fiction

10:20a-11:35a D (25) 3 cr.


The purpose of this course is to use fiction to interrogate black cultural representations of identity influenced by oral traditions, literacy, class, sexuality, and gender. It is a writing intensive course, based on critical interrogation and discussion. Students are responsible for coming to class, turning in writing assignments on time, orally articulating their ideas in class, and offering considerable response to class subject matters. Papers, quizzes, discussions, and one oral exam are constructed from six novels, a course pack reading, and several films. Specific requirements for this class include a 5-minute final oral exam, four critical responses to the novels (1-2 pages), and two analytical essays (5-6 pages). The class is structured around four thematic ideas/questions: (1) From Girls to Women, Do Little Black Girls Dream: Black Women and self-worth, (2) The representation of blackness and black male culture and self worth, (3) the power of sexuality in orality of African American culture, and (4) Does hip-hop culture have a written text, and how does such a text address the first three themes?

Selected Texts include:
Red Jordan Arobateau’s Bars Across Heaven
Donald Goines’s Whoreson
Gayl Jones’s Corregidora
Sapphire’s PUSH
Paul Beatty’s White Boy Shuffle
Toni Morrison’s Paradise

A Question of Color
Berry Gordy’s Mahogony
Kasi Lemmon’s Eve’s Bayou
Gina Prince-Blythewood’s Love and Basketball