*African American Literature

Eng 3203 African American Literature  
This class fits within the general education windows requirement for Aesthetics.

Gilyard, K., & Wardi, A. (Eds.). (2004). African American Literature. New York: Pearson-Longman.

All other resources are accessed online via MyCourses or SNU Library’s portal to Films on Demand


In addition to the major author essay, two essays are due during the course. These will allow for further exploration of topics covered in course material and will involve students selecting areas of focus within the assignment. The essays should be 4-6 pages in length and pull in materials and ideas from outside of the course content. (Double Consciousness and Social Protest/Social Change)

Response journal:
The response journal should be a reflection on this week's reading, activities and forum discussions. This is not a place for summary. You can discuss what you learned, liked, disliked, connect something new to something old, etc., but you must go beyond giving your opinion (like/dislike) to explain why it matters. Discuss reoccurring themes, power of stories, events, the individual, identity etc. You can also pull in current events/materials.
These writings will show your ability to analyze the reading, viewings and “conversations.” They will also exhibit your skill at connecting material. You should feel free to pull from previous reading if they contribute to the meaning you are discussing. (e.g. tracing a theme or drawing a connection between history and literature, etc) 

They will be due at the end of the week and should be approximately 2 pages. These are due weeks 2-6/

Forums and Journals:
These will be due on a weekly basis and length will be detailed in the instructions. (typically between 200-300 words) Journals are typically reflective and personal written with professor as only audience. Forums should include critical and analytical thought which require responses of others.

Major Author Essay

To compose the essay & prepare the presentation:

1. Choose one author. Be sure to sign up on time.

2. Read the author's work in text, anthologies, online, etc.

3. Choose at least three poems or stories. If you are choosing a novel, select an alternate piece also so you can compare the author's growth, handling of different subjects, etc.

4. Choose a focus -- How will you approach one aspect of the author's work ie: recurring themes or images, techniques, autobiographical confessions, messages about a particular type of critical response to the author's work, recurring personas. --You may address a few of these.

5. Write a paper showing how this aspect of the author's work is evident in the works you read. 

6. Find out how contemporary critics have approached your topic. 

7. OPTION: Critique of the treatment of your author in three different anthologies. On what do they agree? How do emphases vary? How much space does your author receive? Are the same works anthologized?
 (search online and libraries)

8. Combine all of this information in a well-composed essay that includes an interesting introduction and effective conclusion. Be sure to transition between paragraphs and topics. Be sure to use MLA citations and include a list of works cited.

9. Your presentation should include:

a picture of the author

an introduction to your author (suppose the editors of an anthology call you to write the introduction about your author.)

overview of your research

interesting trivia/ "historical trickle-down"

well-designed slides

The body of your essay should be 8-10 pages which will be submitted via a TurnItIn link on MyCourses by our final session.  

Your presentation should be a well-organized and timed 6-8 minutes.  Do not go over 10 minutes. You will post your video presentation. Don’t worry if you’ve never done one before. Instructions will be available.