Criticism Seminar, Spring 2003

"New Approaches to African-American Literature and Culture"

Bill Maxwell and Mark Thompson (both in English) have organized this semester's criticism seminar and are also organizing a small conference on this topic which will take place at the end of April. As we did last year, we are coordinating the work of the seminar with the conference. The schedule and topics for the meetings appear below.

All Criticism Seminar meetings will take place every other Monday at 8pm in the IPRH Building at 805 West Pennsylvania Avenue.



January 27: Transnationalism

  • Ann duCille, "Postcolonialism and Afrocentricity: Discourse and Dat Course." (from Skin Trade, 1996)

  • Paul Gilroy, "The Black Atlantic as a Counterculture of Modernity" (from The Black Atlantic, 1993)

February 10: Class

  • Brent Edwards, "Introduction: The 'Autonomy of Black Radicalism" (from Social Text 67, Summer 2001)

  • Robin D. G. Kelley, selections from Freedom Dreams (Beacon Press, 2002)

  • Cedric Robinson, selections from Black Marxism (U of N Carolina Press, 2000)

February 24: Queer Theory

  • Robert F. Reid-Pharr, "Tearing the Goat's Flesh: Homosexuality, Abjection, and the Production of Late Twentieth-Century Black Masculinity (from African American Literary Theory: A Reader, ed. Winston Napier, NYU Press, 2000)

  • Marlon B. Ross, "Some Glances at the Black Fag: Race. Same-Sex Desire, and Cultural Belonging" (from African American Literary Theory: A Reader)

March 10: The Black Arts Movement

  • Houston A. Baker Jr., "Generational Shifts and the Recent Criticism of Afro-American Literature" (from African American Literary Theory: A Reader

  • Phillip Brian Harper, "Nationalism and Social Division in Black Arts Poetry of the 1960s" (from African American Literary Theory: A Reader)

March 31: The Black Pre-Modern

  • Hazel V. Carby, "Ideologies of Black Folk: The Historical Novel of Slavery" (from Slavery and the Literary Imagination,  ed. McDowell and Rampersad, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989).

  • Hortense J. Spillers, "Changing the Letter: The Yokes, the Jokes of Discourse, or Mrs. Stowe and Mr. Reid" (from Slavery and the Literary Imagination)

April 14: Feminism

  • Valerie Smith, "Black Feminist Theory and the Representation of the 'Other'" (from African American Literary Theory: A Reader)   

  • Hortense J. Spillers, "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: An American Grammar Book" (from African American Literary Theory: A Reader)              

April 25-26: Conference: "New Directions in African-American Literary Study"

  • Details to be announced.