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Place and Belonging: 20th C. Latina/o, African American, & Caribbean Imagination--NYC
ENGL 215
Spring 2015 not offered

Throughout the 20th century, New York City has projected a voyeuristic allure as a site of excess and pleasure that is nevertheless "seedy," "gritty," and unabashedly segregated. Through select literary and cinematic optics of Latina/o, African American, and Caribbean writers and artists, this course will focus on memory, mimesis, and the imagination in the layered and shifting site of mid- to late-20th-century New York City--and even more specifically, of Harlem, the Bronx, the Lower East Side, and Elizabeth, NJ. We'll begin by reading select essays from HARLEM IS NOWHERE (2011), by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, and FROM BOMBA TO HIP-HOP (2000), by Juan Flores, to focus on the frictions between love of place and the struggle for artists of color--especially those from working-class backgrounds--with national narratives of nonbelonging. This juxtaposition of essays will also setup a major motif of our readings of novels, poetry, visual and cinematic arts: how thin apartment walls, cold and steep heights, and the precarious maneuverability of the City are often interrupted in these works by first-person memories and re-imaginings of overheard stories from older generations about life in the U.S. South and life in the Caribbean. "The City," then, becomes a site that mirrors these interruptions of memory, where other vistas and the past ricochet dangerously off its steely enclosures.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CBST-MN)(ENGL)(ENGL-Literature)

Last Updated on APR-14-2024
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