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African American Literature and Culture

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

Responsable(s): Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet
Intervenant(s): -

Période de validité: 2014 -> 2014

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre de printemps
2 heures par semaine
28 heures par semestre

Langue(s) d'enseignement: anglais
Public: Oui
Crédits: 0


Objectives: This seminar aims to introduce 3rd year BA students to the major themes and texts of 19th-centuryAmerican literature. We begin with the slave narrative, recording the experiences of escaped slaves, and finish with Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye (1970). In between, we will discuss issues of language, dialect, political art, music, genre, and gender as we read poems, novels, speeches, short stories, several chapters of W.E. B. Du Bois's influential The Souls of Black Folk (1903). A guest speaker will come lecture on the civil rights contributions of the folk singer Woody Guthrie and perform on guitar to accompany the talk. Finally, students will have the opportunity to enroll for the annual spring African American History study trip to Paris with a solid background of the texts written by writers who made the most impact on African American culture and intellectual life.
Please note that the required reading has changed as of Jan. 19, and you no longer need to buy the book Their Eyes Were Watching God. If you have already bought it, I will purchase it back from you -- though I highly recommend that you read it first!


Evaluation: Students will either submit a final essay OR complete two written assignments during the semester which consist of answering several short-essay questions. The student may choose which mode of evaluation she/he prefers. In addition to this written component, every student must sign up for one discussion topic and prepare questions and lead a small-group discussion on a given day.


Two books are available at Basta! -- W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, and Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye. Please buy both as soon as possible.
Please note that you no longer need to purchase Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1936). If you have already done so, I will buy the book back from you (though I promise that if you read it once you will not want to part with it). Sadly, we will not have time for Hurston's novel in the class but I highly recommend it anyway -- it's one of my top 5 favorite books of all time. I will be teaching it as an explication de texte course in the fall. It has also been made into a movie with Halle Berry.

Exigences du cursus d'études

B2/C1 Students must have taken at least one explication de text course and completed it before spring 2015.

Informations supplémentaires


Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15