ENGL 236(F,S) Witnessing: Slavery and Its Aftermath (Gateway) (W)*

The dual acts of remembering and forgetting slavery have become central to the constitution of American history. This course examines the relationship between memory, history, and national identity that has been produced through the visual and literary material on the subject of slavery. Our readings will move from nineteenth-and eighteenth -century accounts of slavery, poems by Phillis Wheatley, fiction and non-fiction by Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany to twentieth century re-writings and remembrances of slavery. Here we will be examining both visual and literary texts that include works by William Faulkner, Octavia Butler, Sherley Anne Williams, Toni Morrison and visual productions by Kara Walker and Bill T. Jones. Finally, we will consider how television melodramas-Roots, North and South, Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal-have shaped the function of slavery in contemporary popular culture. Format: discussion/seminar. Requirements: compulsory attendance and participation, twenty pages of writing in the form of short critical papers. Prerequisites: a 100-level English course, except 150. Enrollment limit: 19 per section (expected: 19 per section). Preference given to first-year students, sophomores, and English majors who have yet to take a Gateway. Two sections. (1700-1900 or Post-1900)