Jul 22, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

AFR 304 - Poetics of Relation: James Baldwin (=ENG 415)


Poetics of Relation: James Baldwin - One of the country’s most important 20th century essayists, fiction writers, and playwrights, James Baldwin penetrated the consciousness of America with his eloquent and insightful writing. His words are a living legacy of the ways in which African Americans and members of LGBT communities have continued to prevail in the presence of unrelenting antipathy. His friend, Amiri Baraka, said of him: “This man traveled the earth like its biographer. He reported, criticized, made beautiful, analyzed, cajoled, lyricized, attacked, sang, made us think, made us better, made us consciously human or perhaps more acidly prehuman.”

Poetics of Relation is the rubric for a seminar in which students analyze relations between prominent writers– many of African descent–and specific cultures, landscapes or historical moments. Previous iterations of this seminar have focused on writings by Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Derek Walcott, Vidia Naipaul, Wole Soyinka, and August Wilson.

In addition to close, analytical readings, substantive class discussions, oral presentations and  weekly one-two page MOUs, seminar participants will write a major essay which will be added to the existing Poetics of Relations digital site.

Cross-listed as ENG 415 in English for Major Thinkers credit
Satisfies a requirement in Africana Studies and Global Literary Theory.
Satisfies Gender and Sexuality Studies Literary and Cultural Representations track major requirement.
Satisfies English major requirement.
Satisfies Cultural Diversity requirement. 
Satisfies Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric requirement.