Race and Nation
English 242B: Race and Nation
American writers’ engagement with the complexity of race has a long history. In this course, we will read literary texts—novels, short stories, memoirs, essays, and speeches—that help us explore how the meanings of race and nation were shaped and reshaped as the U.S. developed into a modern nation-state. Our readings will include works by Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Herman Melville, Kate Chopin, and W.E.B. Du Bois. We will consider how each text engages with the dialectic of race and nation and examine whether and how close reading of each text complicates our understanding of “America,” its people, and its history. This course fulfills the University W requirement.