Fall 2020

Black Feminist Literary Traditions

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-345  |  English, as ENGL-276  |  Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-379  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-208

Moodle site: Course


Aneeka A. Henderson (Section 01)


(Offered as SWAG 208, BLST 345 [US], ENGL 276, and FAMS 379) Through a close reading of texts by African American authors, we will critically examine the characterization of female protagonists, with a specific focus on how writers negotiate literary forms alongside race, gender, sexuality, and class in their work. Coupled with our explication of poems, short stories, novels, and literary criticism, we will explore the stakes of adaptation in visual culture. Students will analyze the film and television adaptations of twentieth-century fiction. Authors will include Toni Morrison, Lorraine Hansberry, Alice Walker, and Gloria Naylor. Expectations include three writing projects, a group presentation, and various in-class assignments.

All class meetings will occur remotely and consist of lecture and small group discussions throughout the semester.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Limited to 18 students. Priority given to those students who attend the first day of the class. Open to first-year students with consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Henderson.

If Overenrolled: Priority given to SWAGS majors and students who have taken intro SWAGS courses; others admitted to balance by class, year, major.


Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Writing, Online Only


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2016, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2023