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syllabus

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Black Romanticism

 

 

Engl. 404 (MWF 1:25-2:15, 322 Sackett)

 

Course Summary

 

How black is Romanticism?  This question will be the central concern of our course, which will investigate the roots of British and American culture in the routes of trans-Atlantic economic trade of the late eighteenth century.  We will contest the implied racial and national purity of British culture by examining its production at the hands of racial and ethnic others. If the economic vitality of late eighteenth-century England derives from the traffic in black slaves and the labor of black sailors, something similar can be said of its cultural production. From this perspective, Romanticism turns multi-ethnic, a motley chorus inconceivable without the contribution of formerly mute minority voices. This course will sully the purity of British culture by testing local and national practices against global exchanges and mobilities.  The result: a new understanding of Romanticism as a mixed cultural heritage.  We will end the course by examining the persistence of that heritage in the music of reggae and hip-hop.  Readings will include selections from Gilroy, Linebaugh and Rediker, C.L.R. James, and Brathwaite, as well as Equiano, Cugoano, Blake, More and the abolitionists, Hunt, and Wederburn. We will also look at the political cartoons of the period.

 

 

Syllabus

404.doc

 

Engl 404: Black Romanticism                    Office: 15 S. Burrowes

Youngquist, pby1@psu.edu                       Hours: M, F 12:30-1:30-2:30

Spring 2008                                             W 3:30-4:30

 

 

Required texts:

 

 

Gilroy, The Black Atlantic

Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many Headed Hydra

James, Black Jacobins

Richardson and Lee, eds., Early Black British Writing

Price and Price, eds., Stedman’s Narrative

Equiano, The Interesting Narrative

Lewis, Journal of a West-India Proprietor

Earle, Obi, or the History of Three-Fingered Jack

Hugo, Bug-Jargal

Austen, Mansfield Park

Brathwaite, Middle Passages

Texts available through electronic reserve—listed under Engl. 561*

 

 

Requirements:

 

 

1) attendance, participation, etc, (10%): no more that two absences

2) weekly drop box responses, 100 words (10%)

3) musical artifact, 300 words on wiki (5%)

4) cultural artifact, 300 words on wiki (5%)

5) performance report with bibliography of primary and secondary material (20%)

6) seminar paper—or equivalent project (50%)

 

 

Readings:

 

 

 

Geneaology, History, Subjection

 

 

Jan.     14    Introduction

           16    Foucault, “Genealogy, Nietzsche, History”*

                   Roach, “Introduction: History, Memory, and Performance”*

           18    Hall, “Cultural Identity and Diaspora”*

 

 

           21    OFF—Martin Luther King Day

           23    Gilroy, The Black Atlantic

           25    Gilroy, The Black Atlantic

 

 

           28    Baucom, Spectres of the Atlantic, Pt. 1*   

           30    Baucom, Spectres of the Atlantic, Pt 1*

Feb.       1    Walvin, “A View From London,” “Traumas”*

                   Report: Sugar

 

 

             4    Lineabaugh and Rediker, The Many Headed Hydra

             6    Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many Headed Hydra

             8    Rediker, from The Slave Ship*

                   Report: Sailors, pirates, blackjacks

 

 

 

 

Revolutionary West Indies

 

 

            11    Stedman, Narrative

            13    Stedman, Narrative

            15    Lloyd, “Race Under Representation”*

                    Report: Torture

 

 

           18    James, Black Jacobins

           20    James, Black Jacobins

           22    James, Black Jacobins

                   Report: Haiti in British Culture

 

 

           25    Hugo, Bug Jargal

           27    Hugo, Bug Jargal

           29    Hugo, Bug Jargal

                   Report: Maroonage

 

 

The Living Dead

 

 

Mar.      3    Earle, Obi, or The History of Three-Fingered Jack

                   Brathwaite, “Jamaican Slave Laws”*

             5    Earle, Obi

             7    Earle, Obi

                   Report: Obi and Voodoo

 

 

SPRING BREAK

 

 

           17    Lewis, from Journals of a West India Proprietor

           19    Lewis, from Journals

           21    Lewis, Castle Spectre*

                   Report: Slavery and the Gothic

 

 

           24    Equiano, The Interesting Narrative

           26    Equiano, The Interesting Narrative

           28    Caretta, “Questioning Equiano’s Identity”

                   Report: Sierra Leone

 

 

Black London

 

 

           31   Sancho, Gronniosaw—in Early Black British Writing

Apr.      2    Robert Wedderburn—in Early Black British Writing

            4    Mary Prince—in Early Black British Writing

                  Report: Blacks in London

 

 

           7    Austen, Mansfield Park

           9    Austen, Mansfield Park

          11   Austen, Mansfield Park

                 Report: Blacks in Painting, portraiture, and caricature

 

 

          14    Phillis Wheatley—in Early Black Writing

          16    William Blake, “Visions of the Daughers of Albion,” “America”*

          18    Wordsworth, “On Toussaint L’Overture”*

                  Edgeworth, “The Grateful Negro”*

                  Report: Abolition and emancipation

 

 

 

(fear of a) Black Planet

 

 

         21    Brathwaite, Middle Passages

         23    Brathwaite, Middle Passages

         25    Reggae and Dub

                 Report: Rastas in London

 

 

         28    Free Jazz: Sun Ra

         30    Funk: George Clinton

May     2    Hip Hop: Cool Herc, Grandmaster Flash

 

Secondary Sources

 

Bolster, Jeffrey W. Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1997.

 

Walvin, James.  Black Ivory: Slavery in the British Empire. 2nd ed. London: Blackwell, 2001.

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