Race is a common theme throughout all literary genres. Throughout history, American writers have seen race in a variety of ways. The Norton Anthology of American Literature contains slave narratives, speeches on race, fiction about race and many examples of how race has historically impacted America.
This project, A Hope for Reconciliation, was designed to realistically depict the stories of students and faculty at Hope College. With this in mind, the English module first explores the literary history behind race in America in connection with the history module. Next, the module focuses on the construction of a narrative and how student writers can learn to take many voices and weave them together to form a cohesive whole.
How do people tell their stories?
What role does literature play in promoting different viewpoints?
How can we construct a narrative from a variety of different viewpoints without overtly intersecting too much of ourselves?
These are questions that all scholars of English and creators of media grapple with on a regular basis. This module helps us to consider how best to represent ourselves and others, as well as how to connect narratives in a functional way. English is a cultural field; literature reflects culture and all of its complexity. Considering how the representation of race, gender, and other culturally definitive characteristics in literature can help us to create narratives that speak to complex issues in an intelligent and fair manner.
The following modules address topics of race and narrative, within the academic discipline of English.