In this course we will look at the rich history of black women's writing in the U.S. We will discuss both fictional and non-fictional texts that highlight the special situation under which Black women have lived and worked in the U.S. We will start with Sojourner Truth's classic 19th century speech in Akron, Ohio, and follow the development of black feminist thought from slavery to its post-Civil Rights interventions into re-making (white middle class) feminism into an intersection mode of societal critique. To add to the theoretical pieces, we will be discussing texts by important African American writers such as Zora Neal Hurston, Toni Morrison, and Ntozake Shange.

Trigger Warning:
Be advised that the texts we will discuss include discussions and depictions of racism (in both content and language), violence, trauma, rape, spousal and child abuse, and other sensitive matters. If you do not wish to engage with such topics in class, please take a different course, opting out on a text to text basis is not possible.

Learning Objectives

In this course you will gain an insight into the development and central positions of Black feminism as a radical school of thought. You will also read and discuss a small number of foundational works by African American women writers. During the course you will practice interpreting fictional texts, as well as understanding, reproducing and engaging with the arguments of non-fictional texts and trying to apply this to individual experiences and U.S. society in history and in the present.


Please buy a copy of:
- Zora Neale Hurston. "Their Eyes Were Watching God".
- Toni Morrison. "The Bluest Eye".
- Ntozake Shange. "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf".

All other texts will be made available on ADAM.









Literature, Feminist Science

University Type: