Graduate Courses, Summer 2007

Times and locations of class meetings are subject to change. Consult the UF Schedule of Courses for an explanation of the class period abbreviations.

Summer Session B

Course no. Time(s) Course title Instructor
downLIT 6357 TR 5-6 The Folk in Caribbean and African American Literature Rosenberg

LIT 6357

The Folk in Caribbean and African American Literature

Leah Rosenberg

The experiences and culture of black peasants, sharecroppers, and the urban proletariat have come to be defining characteristics of both Caribbean and African American literatures. In both traditions, however, intellectuals have had bitter debates about how prominent black folk culture should be and what aspects of folk culture deserve literary attention. Thus, W.E.B. Du Bois made The Crisis a venue for a public debate on the literary representation of African Americans and famously commented that Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem (1928) focused so much on the “underworld” of cabarets and prostitutes that he felt the need for a bath. Before he immigrated to the United States in 1912, McKay had been at the center of a parallel debate in the Jamaican press concerning the legitimacy of “dialect” poetry. Intellectuals were still bitterly divided on the question of the folk in Caribbean in the 1970s. Focusing on the Harlem Renaissance and the emergence of Caribbean literature in the early twentieth century, this course studies the literary representation of the folk as a means of evaluating the founding paradigms of African American and Caribbean literature and literary studies. Authors will include W.E.B. DuBois, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, Ann Petry, Langston Hughes, Jean Rhys, Jean Toomer, Sam Selvon, Kamau Brathwaite, Louise Bennett, and George Lamming.