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Fall 2017 Comparative Literature: English GU4625 section 001

Call Number 29200
Day & Time
TR 11:40am-12:55pm
To be announced
Points 3
Approvals Required None
Instructor Brent H Edwards
Course Description (Lecture). An introduction to the deep engagement of peoples of African descent with the City of Light throughout the twentieth century. We will take up the full variety of black cultures that have taken shape in dialogue with Paris, including poetry, prose, journals and magazines, music, and film in English and French by African American as well as Francophone Caribbean and African artists and intellectuals. Our investigation will focus on a series of historical moments central to any understanding of black Paris: the efflorescence of the "Jazz Age" in the 1920s (especially through the many Harlem Renaissance artists who spent significant time in France); the emergence of the Négritude movement in the 1930s and 1940s (in relation to other currents such as surrealism, existentialism, and anti-imperialism); the great age of post-World War II expatriate writers such as James Baldwin and Richard Wright; and contemporary black culture in the hip hop era. Throughout the semester, we will discuss the political implications of thinking about black culture through the lens of Paris, whether at the height of the French colonial empire in the interwar period, during the US Civil Rights movement and the Algerian war of independence, or in relation to contemporary debates around religion and immigration. We will be especially attentive to ways Paris can be considered a culture capital of the African diaspora, through what Baldwin called "encounters on the Seine" among black intellectuals and artists from Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. Readings may include fiction, poetry, and autobiography by authors such as Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker, Claude McKay, Ho Chi Minh, Aimé Césaire, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Jean-Paul Sartre, Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, William Gardner Smith, Chester Himes, Melvin Van Peebles, Calixthe Beyala, Maryse Condé, and Marie NDiaye; and literary and historical scholarship by Edward Said, Tyler Stovall, Dominic Thomas, Christopher Miller, Pap Ndiaye, and Bennetta Jules-Rosette, among others. Requirements: weekly short reading responses; one take-home midterm; and one longer final research paper. Reading knowledge of French is useful but not required.
Web Site CourseWorks
Department English and Comparative Literature
Enrollment 50 students (90 max) as of 7:30PM Sunday, April 23, 2017
Subject Comparative Literature: English
Number GU4625
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Open To Barnard, Columbia College, Engineering and Applied Science: Undergraduate, General Studies, School of the Arts, Engineering and Applied Science: Graduate, Graduate School of Arts and Science, International and Public Affairs, School of Professional Studies
Campus Morningside
Section key 20173CLEN4625W001

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SIS update 04/23/17 19:30    web update 04/24/17 15:04