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Course Details

Spring 2015-2016
* AAS 345 / ENG 358 (LA)   na, npdf

Sonic Fugitivities: The Soundscapes of the African-American Literary Tradition

Jarvis C. McInnis

Historically denied the right to literacy, African-Americans have used sound as a mode of protest and expression of freedom, subjectivity, and citizenship. In this course, we will explore the rich interplay of sound and literature in African-American letters, how writers have used sound to make political claims about race, gender, class, region, nation, and cultural identity. We will examine an array of sonic modalities, i.e. music, laughter, oratory, screams, yells, shouts, grunts, and noise. Readings will be accompanied by sound recordings of minstrel and vaudeville ditties, speeches, work songs, blues, jazz, hip hop, and spoken word poetry

Sample reading list:
Gayl Jones, Corregidora
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
Zora Neale Hurston, Mules and Men
Toni Morrison, "Recitatif"
James Baldwin, "The Outing"
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Students are required to write a 3-5 page essay to be submitted along with their class presentation; weekly blog postings of approximately 250-500 words; and a 10-15 page final essay that, ideally, will build on the ideas developed in the 3-5 page essay.

Paper in lieu of Final - 30%
Papers - 20%
Oral Presentation(s) - 30%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43583 S01 01:30:00 pm - 02:50:00 pm M W        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled
43891 S02 11:00:00 am - 12:20:00 pm T Th   Stanhope Hall   101   Enrolled:6 Limit:15