Contemporary Black Diasporic Literature and Culture
What is a Black diasporic analytic and how might it deepen our understandings of the cultural and literary significance of Black lives around the world? The literary and culturally expressive genius of Black people across the African or Black diaspora has resulted in an extensive tradition within and beyond English-speaking nations. While this course focuses on contemporary Black diasporic literature and culture, it will also foreground the various histories that inform and shape this body of work. Additionally, students will learn how recent works of Black diasporic literature and culture have in turn shaped our current understandings of family, gender, identity, labor, migration, nation, race, sexuality, and more. Overall, this course will serve as an advanced-level introduction to several pivotal Black diasporic literary and cultural works; modes of criticism and methodologies; and the cultural, historical, and social realities of Black people's lives from the 1980s to today. Possible texts include those by Dionne Brand, Edwidge Danticat, Akwaeke Emezi, Bernardine Evaristo, Nalo Hopkinson, Jamaica Kincaid, Paule Marshall, and Caryl Phillips. All readings will be provided in English. Course requirements will likely include class attendance and participation in discussion, weekly reflections on the readings, a midterm project proposal, and a final project and essay.
The online version of the Caltech Catalog is provided as a convenience; however, the printed version is the only authoritative source of information about course offerings, option requirements, graduation requirements, and other important topics.