Introductory seminar course: Enslavement in African American Literature - Details
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Lehrveranstaltung wird in Präsenz abgehalten.

General information

Course name Introductory seminar course: Enslavement in African American Literature
Semester WS 2023/24
Current number of participants 25
maximum number of participants 30
Home institute Neuere Englische Literaturen und Kulturwissenschaft
Courses type Introductory seminar course in category Teaching
First date Monday, 16.10.2023 11:45 - 13:15, Room: (D, 2122)
Online/Digitale Veranstaltung Veranstaltung wird in Präsenz abgehalten.
Hauptunterrichtssprache englisch

Rooms and times

(D, 2122)
Monday: 11:45 - 13:15, weekly (15x)

Module assignments


The history and legacy of enslavement have deeply shaped the United States. When the abolitionist movement gained strength in the 19th century, so-called ‘slave narratives’, such as Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1854) or Harriet Jacob’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861), became a popular tool in the fight against slavery. More than 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) legally abolished slavery, African American writers began to revisit these texts in the wake of the Black Power Movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, forming a literary genre frequently termed ‘neo-slave narratives.’

In this course, we will investigate how experiences of enslavement and its aftermath are narrated and continue to be (re)imagined in African American fiction of the 20th and 21st century. Against the historical backdrop of the transatlantic enslavement trade and the institution of ‘chattel’ slavery in the United States, we will first take a closer look at examples of 19th-century ‘slave narratives’. In comparative analyses of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Water Dancer (2019), Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987) and Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred (1979), we will then discuss questions of genre, gender as well as central themes, motifs, tropes and shifts in the representations of slavery in literature as well as film and TV series.

Students are required to buy and read the following editions before the beginning of the semester:
• Coates, Ta-Nehisi. The Water Dancer. Random House, 2020.
• Morrison, Toni. Beloved. Random House, 1997.
• Butler, Octavia E. Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation. Abrams & Chronicle, 2018. [Please make sure to buy the graphic novel!]

Other texts and materials, including excerpts from classic ‘slave narratives’ and Octavia E. Butler’s novel Kindred, will be provided via Digicampus.

For the two-course-modules EAS-1411 and EAS-1414, this PS is to be combined with the Ü “Narrative Analysis: Contemporary Short Fiction” (Corvin Bittner).

Admission settings

The course is part of admission "ALW/ELW/NELK: Aufbaumodul BA/LA: PS".
Studierende der Anglistik/Amerikanistik und des Faches Englisch können sich bereits während der vorgezogenen Anmeldephase zur Sicherstellung des Studienfortschritts für die Aufbau- und Vertiefungsmodule anmelden. Hierzu wird ein gewisses Kontingent der Kursplätze im Zeitraum vom 21.08.2023 bis 30.08.2023 für die Anmeldung geöffnet. Die Verteilung der Plätze erfolgt am 01.09.2023. Bitte beachten Sie, dass in dieser Anmeldephase Studierende in höheren Fachsemestern bei der Verteilung der Plätze priorisiert werden.
Die allgemeine Anmeldephase beginnt am 04.09.2023 und endet am 09.10.2023.
The following rules apply for the admission:
  • The enrolment is possible from 04.09.2023, 08:00 to 09.10.2023, 12:00.
  • Enrolment is allowed for up to 1 courses of the admission set.
  • A defined number of seats will be assigned to these courses.
    The seats in the affected courses have been assigned at 09.10.2023 on 15:15. Additional seats may be available via a wait list.
Assignment of courses: