good knowledge of the institution of slavery, of the living conditions of slaves and of the political struggle of blacks for freedom and civil/political rights; good understanding of the theoretical and ideological background of slavery and of the concepts race, gender, class racism; good understanding of the impact of sexism and racism on the psycho-emotional state of individuals and on interracial relations; critical analysis of literary works by African American writers.
Course Content (Syllabus)
the course aims at introducing students to the African American literary tradition. It examines critically various texts (slave narratives, short stories, novels, memoirs, political speeches)written in the 19th and 20th centuries. It probes into the diachronic experiences of African Americans; it examines the formation of racial identity; it scrutinizes the relations between "black" and "white" Americans. Particular attention is given to the interrelation of the factors of race, gender, class, sexual identity and to their impact. Finally, the course deals with the politics of skin color and the diachronic consequences of sexism and racism.
race, gender, chattel slavery, slave narratives, human rights, African-American literature