Flies in the Buttermilk: Food, Hunger & Power in Africana Literature

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Literary Studies

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Africana Lit Food Hunger Power
Fall 2023
Taught By: Gabrielle Williams
Section: A

CRN: 15963

Credits: 4

"This course draws from interdisciplinary approaches in African American Literary Studies, Food Studies, and Gender & Sexuality Studies to examine literary representations of powerful ways that peoples of the African Diaspora have disrupted Eurocentric classifications of food & foodways across broad expanses of space and time. Employing approaches from cross-disciplinary Food Studies/Gender & Sexuality Studies/Literary Studies theorists such as, Kyla Wazana Tompkins (Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the 19th Century, 2012), Doris Witt (Black Hunger: Soul Food and America, 1999), and Vincent Woodard (The Delectable Negro: Human Consumption and Homoeroticism Within U.S. Slave Culture, 2014), we will consider material, as well as symbolic meanings of powerful illustrations of food, hunger, and food-based themes in a range of texts encompassing Africana literature. By reading texts such as, for example, James Baldwin’s, “A Fly in the Buttermilk” (1958), Calixthe Beyala’s, How to Cook Your Husband the African Way (2000), Ntozake Shange’s Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo: A Novel (1982), and Wallace Thurman’s, The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Love (1929), we will analyze, conceptualize, and seek to locate the complex nature of both physical and metaphysical forms of food, hunger, and power in literary illustrations of populations of African Diaspora peoples still ravenous for liberty during varied occurrences of long freedom struggles.

After the first week of the semester, permission of the instructor will be required in order to register for this course.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Literary Studies (LIT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 11, 2023 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 19, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few 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: 11:32am EST 11/28/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday, Wednesday
Times: 2:00pm - 3:40pm
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 702
Date Range: 8/28/2023 - 12/11/2023