This writing course is also an introduction to nineteenth-century African American literature. Students will become familiar with nineteenth-century African American literary history and the recurring themes of the period. We will read through a selection of texts including slave narratives and post Reconstruction-era fiction. We will discuss the literary and cultural significance of each text and author. We will also track the forces shaping this century of African American literature — historical and political movements (slavery, emancipation, reconstruction), modes of expression and production (literacy and orality, authentication), and literary forms (imagery, symbolism, narrative, genre, style).
The writing component of English 3214W provides tools for composing cohesive and persuasive college-level essays. All aspects of writing will be discussed with an emphasis on the following: preparation and planning, formulating a thesis statement, organization, developing topic sentences, sharpening analysis, achieving persuasiveness through textual evidence. The course emphasizes writing as a process beginning with reading actively, then thinking critically about what you have read, formulating an analytical thesis, developing an argument, crafting a thesis statement, writing supportive and analytical topic sentences, supporting points through textual evidence and analysis, and finally revising in response to comments from readers.