Philosophy of Memory in African American Literature|
Spring 2020 not offered
This course will consider the importance of memory in African American literature and will explore the many ways in which authors of African descent engage, transform, and build on long-established intellectual traditions of the mind. Students will explore the importance of the idea of "memory" to these intellectual traditions of the mind and will trace the praxis of remembering as a literary act through African American literature of the long 19th century. Finally, students will explore how persons of African descent are dehumanized through a systematic reduction of their mental capacities in these same philosophical traditions of the mind. We will discuss the ways in which memory specifically figures into this dehumanization and how authors of African descent used these very theories to resist the reification and overdetermination of both their literary works and their selves.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AFAM-MN)(AFAM)
Crafts, Hannah, THE BONDWOMAN'S NARRATIVE
Chesnutt, Charles W., THE HOUSE BEHIND THE CEDARS
DuBois, W.E.B., DUSK OF DAWN: AN ESSAY TOWARD AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A RACE CONCEPT
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, NATURE
Morrison, Toni, PLAYING IN THE DARK: WHITENESS AND THE LITERARY IMAGINATION
Vincent Caretta, ed., PHILLIS WHEATLEY: COMPLETE WRITINGS
Spillers, Hortense J., "MAMA'S BABY, PAPA'S MAYBE: AN AMERICAN GRAMMAR BOOK"
Michael Rossington and Anne Whitehead, Eds., THEORIES OF MEMORY: A READER
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Three 4-page analytical papers, designed to allow students to apply philosophies of memory to the primary texts.
Mid-term Archival Assignment, designed to have students explore the archive as collective memory. Students will explore digital archives and read two articles on the archive. Students will then write a two-page paper on the archive.
Final autobiographical assignment, designed to have students creatively engage their experiences with the concepts of the class.
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