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This course is a study of the periods and major genres of African-American Literature – poetry, prose, drama, vernacular tradition,
essays, and non-fiction. Selected major works and authors are taken from all the periods of African-American literature to show the
breadth and variety of African-American literary tradition.
Multi-cultural American society can benefit from African-American literature because it records enduring human values that reveal
commonly held experiences across all people groups. Studying such literature can be aesthetically pleasing; equip one with analytical
skills; encourage the exploration of a diversity of content, authors, and genres; and reveal valuable insights about the human
condition, thus broadening one’s spiritual and intellectual outlook.
Measurable Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
A. Discuss works by major African American writers from all periods and genres of African American literature.
B. Analyze the political, cultural, social, economic, religious, literary, and historical characteristics of African-American literature
from the 17th century through the present.
C. Evaluate and use relevant literary/critical approaches in the study of African-American literature to interpret works in their moral,
cultural, oral, and historical contexts.
D. Compare works from a range of genres and historical periods (including works by female authors and authors who use or make
allusions to particular oral discourses).
E. Write both critiques of articles/criticisms/theories/major authors/texts, and well-researched papers on African-American
literature, documenting primary and secondary sources.
F. Evaluate an author’s talent and style; draw comparisons among the various authors/texts; and explore the diversity of the various
G. Evaluate to what extent the literature does or does not reflect Christian values.