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Literatures of the African Diaspora
Brooklyn College, Spring 2021 
Dr. Conor Tomás Reed
Tuesdays, 5:05pm – 7:50pm

This class traverses a wide array of African Diasporic literatures across the 20th and 21st centuries. We will discuss various cultural themes and social movements such as the New Negro Movement, Afro-Surrealism, African colonialism and decolonization, the Black Arts Movement, Black Women’s Studies, African Diasporic music visuals, Caribbean Diasporas, Afro-Futurism, Black Horror, and beyond. In doing so, we will assess the complexity and dynamism of African diasporic cultures, and consider how they are shaped by factors such as class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, language, colonialism, and imperialism.

To investigate these questions, this course uses an interdisciplinary approach, integrating materials from literary studies, history, ethnic and gender studies, media and film studies, and sociology. We will read some academic materials about African Diasporic literatures, but we will spend most of the semester reading, listening to, and viewing what a range of Afro-descended people have asserted about their own individual and collective identities. Rather than settle on a final definition of “African,” “Diaspora,” or even “Literature,” we will explore these terms as products of on-going dialogue, debate, and change.