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FEMGEN 159: James Baldwin & Twentieth Century Literature (AFRICAAM 159, ENGLISH 159)

Black, gay and gifted, Baldwin was hailed as a "spokesman for the race", although he personally, and controversially, eschewed titles and classifications of all kinds. This course examines his classic novels and essays as well his exciting work across many lesser-examined domains - poetry, music, theatre, sermon, photo-text, children's literature, public media, comedy and artistic collaboration. Placing his work in context with other writers of the 20C (Faulkner, Wright,Morrison) and capitalizing on a resurgence of interest in the writer (NYC just dedicated a year of celebration of Baldwin and there are 2 new journals dedicated to study of Baldwin), the course seeks to capture the power and influence of Baldwin's work during the Civil Rights era as well as his relevance in the "post-race" transnational 21st century, when his prescient questioning of the boundaries of race, sex, love, leadership and country assume new urgency.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Elam, M. (PI)
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