The Harlem Renaissance In and Beyond Harlem
The Harlem Renaissance is often conceptualized as a period of cultural production reflecting the vibrancy and celebration of African-American culture within Harlem. As African-Americans throughout the country migrated to Harlem to participate in this artistic movement, writers within Harlem simultaneously began to imagine the position of the “New Negro” in both the United States and in the black diasporic world more broadly. In this class, we will read a variety of fiction produced in this era to explore the relationship between the critiques of American racial politics and the explorations of diasporic thought that emerge in this era. Primary texts may include fiction by James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, and George Schuyler. We will also read several theoretical and scholarly texts to help inform in-class discussion and writing assignments.
This course counts as a “W” credit and will require the completion of two 2-4 page papers and a 5-8 page research paper. Class sessions will include a combination of lecture, discussion, group work, and writing assignments.