Highlights in the Black Novel
Many African American novelists have embedded what in 1903 W.E.B. Du Bois called ‘double consciousness’ – or ‘two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings’ – in their narrative forms and themes. But such hybrid texts combining residual black folklore and Western literary genres have shifted greatly over time, place, and convention and have been named and studied variously. This course thus constitutes a survey of representative works – or highlights – within the tradition from the 1850s into the 1970s.