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In this course, we will read twentieth-century African American Authors such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and James Baldwin to discover the literary strategies, cultural values, and psychological assumptions underlying their portrayal of Black Americans. The course will begin with these writers' break with older racial stereotypes and their ongoing complication of the Black experience's shapes. The course will consist of brief lectures designed to convey necessary historical background, brief readings of the writers studied, and wide-ranging discussion on the participants' part. Members of the course will be encouraged but by no means required to record their responses to the readings and discussions.

Presenter: Phillip M. Richards, Colgate Professor of English, Emeritus, has published widely on twentieth-century Black American fiction, poetry, and criticism in monographs, literary collections, and journals such as American Scholar, Commentary, and the Times Literary Supplement.


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