Syllabus--English 374-01 Professor Ferguson
Early African American Writers Fall 2002
Students will read closely the writings of early Africans in America and critically evaluate their impact on and interaction with mainstream American and other cultures. The course also has the following general goals to:
Identify and examine types of genre used by early African American authors
Explore the stylistic features of these works--characters, themes, structure, etc.
Examine critical and theoretical approaches to early African American
Increase student ability to write organized, coherent, and insightful essays.
Students will read closely and write perceptively about ongoing course assignments and readings. Two 5-page course papers, midterm and final exams are required.
Call and Response: The Riverside Anthology of the African American Literary Tradition.
(1998). Patricia Hill et al., eds. Houghton Mifflin.
The Bondwoman’s Narrative (2002). Hannah Crafts. Warner Books.
Tentative Course Reading Schedule
Aug. 19 Introduction
21 African and African American Folktales: “Why the Hare Runs Away,” pp. 60-61
23 African and African American Folktales: “Tar Baby,” pp. 63-64
26 Spirituals: “Humble Yo’self de Bell Done Ring,” p.49; “Go Down Moses,”
28 Spirituals continued
30 Early African American Poets: Lucy Terry: “Bars Fight,” pp. 90-91
Sept. 2 LABOR DAY, NO CLASS
4 Jupiter Hammon: “An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ, with Peneten-tial
[sic] Cries,” pp. 74-76
6 Phillis Wheatley: “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” p. 98
9 Benjamin Banneker: “Letter to Thomas Jefferson,” pp. 156-160
11 Banneker continued; FIRST DRAFT OF FIRST ESSAY DUE
13 “The Life and Confession of Johnson Green,” pp. 105-109
16 Atlantic Slave Narrative: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah
Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself, pp. 114-136
18 Equiano continued; FIRST ESSAY DUE
20 Henry Highland Garnet: “An Address to the
Slaves of the United States,” pp. 264- 272
23 David Walker: David Walker’s Appeal, pp. 245-257
25 Thomas Gray: The Confessions of Nat Turner, pp. 418-432; REVISION OF
FIRST ESSAY DUE
27 Nat Turner continued
30 James Whitfield: From America and Other Poems, America, pp. 377-381
Oct. 2 George Moses Horton: “On Hearing of the Intention of a
Gentleman to Purchase the Poet’s Freedom,” pp. 374-375
4 Fugitive Slave Narratives: Frederick Douglass: Narrative of the Life of
Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, pp. 272-319
7 Douglass continued
9 Douglass continued;
11 MIDTERM EXAM
FALL BREAK, NO CLASSES
16 Frances Watkins Harper: “The Slave Auction” and “The Two Offers,” pp.
18 Harriet Jacobs: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, pp. 432-464
21 Jacobs continued
23 Early African American Feminism: Sojourner Truth: “Speeches,” pp. 258-264
25 Truth’s “Speeches” continued;
28 Post-Bellum Slave Narratives: Elizabeth Keckley: Behind the Scenes;
or Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House
30 Keckley continued
Nov. 1 Hannah Crafts: The Bondwoman’s Narrative
4 The Bondwoman’s Narrative continued; FIRST DRAFT OF SECOND
6 The Bondwoman’s Narrative continued
8 Lucy Craft Laney: “The Burden of the Educated Colored Woman,” pp.
11 Ida B. Wells: “Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases,”
pp. 724-732, A Red Record (Handout); SECOND ESSAY DUE
13 Ida B. Wells continued
15 First African American Novel: William Wells Brown: Clotelle: A Tale of the
Southern States, pp. 513-522; (Handout)
18 Brown continued; REVISION OF SECOND ESSAY DUE
20 Paul Laurence Dunbar: “We Wear the Mask,” p. 615
21 Charles W. Chesnutt: “Po’ Sandy,” (Handout)
25 Chesnutt continued
THANKSGIVING BREAK, NO CLASSES
Dec. 2 Booker T. Washington: Up from Slavery, pp. 658-660, 673-684
4 Washington continued; W. E. B. DuBois: Souls of Black Folk; pp. 732-748
6 W. E. B. DuBois continued
9 W. E. B. DuBois continued; Exam Review
11 FINAL EXAM, 8 AM- 11 AM
The final course grade is determined by two, 5-page essays, which count for 20% each (40%), a midterm exam that counts for 20%, and a final exam that counts for 30%. All students will prepare a first draft of the course essays and revise those that do not receive at least a C; the final grade will be the highest grade of all drafts. The topic for both essays is assigned, but you may suggest a topic for the second paper, which must be approved. ALL COURSE WORK IS EXPECTED TO BE TURNED IN ON TIME, and late papers are dropped one whole letter grade.
Makeup exams are rare, except for medical emergency for which the student provides documentation. Grades are based on the following: A= 4.0; A-= 3.7; B+= 3.3; B= 3.0; B-= 2.7; C+= 2.3; C= 3.0; C-= 1.7; D+= 1.3; D= 1.0; D-= .7; F= 0; WF= 0
Students who have more than four unexcused absences are dropped from the class. Tardiness will not be tolerated, and the classroom door will be closed promptly at 9:00 AM each class day.
Office: 111 McIver Bldg.
Office Hours: MWF, 10:00 AM-11:00 AM and by appointment.
Office Phone: 334-5484; E-mail: shfergus@.uncg.edu
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