This course explores the literature by African-American women writers from the 18th century to the present, analyzing their depictions of racism, sexism, and classism as artistic, moral, and civic responses to inequality. Students learn techniques for critical reading and literary analysis at the upper-division humanities level to understand how these creative works explore issues related to the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow laws, and the influence these writers had on cultural events, such as anti-lynching journalism, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Era, and the Women's Liberation Movement.
- Student knows and can discuss key figures and events of African-American women's authorship, their contributions to understanding the legacies of racism and sexism, and their impact on movements in American art and politics to understand and respond to inequality.
- Student learns how to approach and analyze literature from this group of authors from 1750 to the present, with special attention to literature as a public forum for social critique, and as a powerful tool in organizations of social change such as the abolitionist movement, the civil rights movement, The Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts movements, and the feminist and womanist movements.
- Student can discuss analytically major components of the American mindset regarding African-American women's issues, giving thoughtful, informed context for specific stylistic, historic, and thematic approaches within African-American women's literature as a means of exploring resistance and resilience in the face of oppression.
- Student can trace thematic influences of earlier African-American women writers to their modern counterparts, in particular as they innovate on the stylistic and thematic elements of the woman's slave narrative.
- Student can respond critically to works in the arts and humanities with an understanding of how race and racism shape artistic creation.
- Student understands the development of and changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture, especially the largely self-defining Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts movements created by black intellectuals and artists as they combatted racism in the early twentieth century, as well as the central role played by African-American women writers in the abolitionist and anti-lynching movements.
- Student can demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society -- particularly how conditions of racism and white supremacism changed from the antebellum through the Jim Crow and Civil Rights eras.
- Student can analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
- Student can demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity and history of overt racism
Minnesota Transfer Curriculum
- Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
- Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
- Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
- Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
- Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.
- Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
- Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
- 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.
- Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.