Lighting Out For the Territories: 19th & Early 20th Century American & African American Literature

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Literary Studies

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

19th& 20th Cent Af-Am & Am Lit

Fall 2021

Taught By: Rich Blint

Section: A

CRN: 11118

Credits: 4

This seminar examines the necessity for the circulation of fictive but dominant conceptions of racial, gendered, and other types of social markers in our national literature and culture. Considering the rise of the category in the context of the struggle for democracy in the republic, this course engages a diverse body of material (from The Declaration of Independence, Toni Morrison’s engagement of the early literature of the country, to the novels of Charles Chesnutt, and the work of W. E. B. Dubois) and explores the manner in which they provide coherence to the otherwise illusive and inchoate phenomenon of human difference. During our brief time together, we will consider the manner in which urgent representations of “difference” from the late nineteenth-century to the early decades of the previous century, have not only provided narratives of historical redemption and national innocence but, most importantly, have reproduced, renewed, and modified shifting but monumental perceptions of personhood that continue to structure our social order. As we proceed, we will pose a number of related questions: How crucial are the insistent presentations of race and gender in our culture to the fabrication and consolidation of notions of maleness and masculinity in a civil society governed by white male authority? How might we understand these imaginative rehearsals of our intensely racialized, sexualized, and gendered culture as key to the establishment and reproduction of the paradoxically liberating and confining tyranny of racial, national, and gender affiliation? And what is the relationship of contemporary writers to the distinct depictions of American life in our founding national literature? This course fulfills the Literature elective requirement in Literary Studies.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Literary Studies (LLST)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 13, 2021 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 21, 2021 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 7:21pm 10/22/2021 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Monday, Wednesday

Times: 12:00pm - 1:40pm

Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th

Room: 404

Date Range: 8/30/2021 - 12/13/2021