Honors Seminar: Recent African American Poetry (LIT4118.01)

Michael Dumanis

This Honors Seminar will intensively explore the work of established and emerging African American poets of the past forty years. We will begin with a brief overview of African American poetry from the eighteenth century to the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s, then proceed to discuss a different poet each week. Along the way we will consider whether a distinctive “Black Aesthetic” exists in American poetry; the role jazz and blues motifs play in African American literature; the ways different African American poets treat themes of legacy, history, culture, and community; and the effects of race, gender, sexual orientation, and class on constructions of African American identity. Poets to be discussed could include Ai, Kamau Brathwaite, Jericho Brown, Lucille Clifton, Terrance Hayes, Yusef Komunyakaa, Nathaniel Mackey, Dawn Lundy Martin, Shane McCrae, Harryette Mullen, Claudia Rankine, Tracy K. Smith, Natasha Trethewey, and Kevin Young. There will be two major papers.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Please submit a statement of interest listing all literature course taken to date along with a critical writing sample by November 3rd to mdumanis@bennington.edu. List will be posted November 10th.
Credits: 4
M 10:10am - 12noon; Th 10:10am - 12noon
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as All courses, Four Credit, Literature, 4000, Michael Dumanis, and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .