Metropolitan State University

HUM 364 : The Harlem Renaissance

A. Course Description
Credits: 4
Prerequisites: WRIT 131 Writing I (or equivalent) or have instructor's written permission.  
Lab Hours/ Weeks: Corequisites: None
Lecture Hours/ Week :  
MnTC Goals: Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies , Goal 06 - Humanities/Fine Arts , Goal 07 - Human Diversity
 
This course will study the Harlem Renaissance, a period of incredible productivity and creativity among black artists and intellectuals between 1920-1940, centered in Harlem, New York. The course considers how concepts -- such as race; the New Negro movement; Jim Crow, segregation, and racism; so-called racial uplift and the Talented Tenth; the Great Migration; the Roaring Twenties, and Modernism ¿ were manifested in the works of art, literature, philosophy, film, and music of Harlem¿s artists and thinkers. In addition to learning the specialized vocabulary and skills involved in the analysis of works from a variety of artistic genres, students will learn how Harlem¿s leading black intellectuals tied aesthetic theories to social and racialized principles of artistic production, inspiring some artists while prompting others to openly rebel. Given that the Harlem Renaissance is not characterized by any one style, technique, or manifesto, well pay special attention to connections among the artists in an effort to determine how and whether the Harlem Renaissance is a coherent and unified movement across the arts. The course will trace the Harlem Renaissances contributions to Modernism and its influences on the American arts scene ever since (especially the in Black Arts Movement of the Sixties).
B. Course Effective Dates: 01/09/2012 - 08/15/2016 08/16/2016 - Present
C. Outline of Major Content Areas:
See Course Description for major content areas.
D. Learning Outcomes (General)
  1. Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  2. Know the outlines of the political and cultural history of the Harlem Renaissance in America -- at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  3. Know characteristic institutions and achievements of artist and thinkers of the Harlem Renaissance -- at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  4. Distinguish among important Harlem Renaissance artistic, musical, and literary genres and know Harlem¿s artists and creative works ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  5. Distinguish important themes, aesthetic characteristics, innovations, and accomplishments of Harlem Renaissance literature, art, and music¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  6. Apply Harlem Renaissance philosophies to an analysis of American cultural history (such as so-called ¿racial uplift,¿ the Talented Tenth, PanAfricanism, racialized violence against black Americans, exoticism, primitivism, patronage, etc., as responses to racism, Jim Crow law, and white supremacism) ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  7. Analyze the influence of the Harlem Renaissance on contemporary Western culture, such as how Harlem gave the world Jazz, solidified a black intelligentsia, and created a distinctive visual culture in its paintings, murals, sculpture, film, and graphic arts ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  8. Recognize, appreciate, and explain allusions to Harlem Renaissance attitudes and conventions ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  9. Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within the historical and social context of the Harlem Renaissance, a period when black artists faced active racism, discrimination, and legal segregation.
  10. Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities with an understanding of how race and racism shape artistic creation.
  11. Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities during the Harlem Renaissance.
  12. Understand the development of and changing meanings of group identities in the United States¿ history and culture, especially the largely self-defining Harlem Renaissance created by black intellectuals and artists as they combatted racism in the early twentieth century.
  13. Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society -- particularly the conditions of racism and white supremacism during the Harlem Renaissance.
  14. Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
  15. Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (cultural, artistic, political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
  16. Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity and history of overt racism.
E. Learning Outcomes (MN Transfer Curriculum)
Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies
    None
Goal 06 - Humanities/Fine Arts
  1. Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.
  2. Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within an historical and social context.
  3. Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  4. Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
Goal 07 - Human Diversity
  1. Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
  2. Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
  3. Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
  4. Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.
G. Special Information
Racial Issues Graduation Requirement