Engaging Tradition, Making It New: Essays on Teaching Recent African American Literature

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Engaging Tradition, Making It New offers a rich collection of fresh scholarly and pedagogical approaches to new African American literature. Organized around the theme of transgression, the collection focuses on those writers who challenge the reading habits and expectations of students and instructors, whether by engaging themes and literary forms not usually associated with African American literature or by departing from traditional modes of approaching historical, social, or legal struggles. Each chapter ...
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Overview

Engaging Tradition, Making It New offers a rich collection of fresh scholarly and pedagogical approaches to new African American literature. Organized around the theme of transgression, the collection focuses on those writers who challenge the reading habits and expectations of students and instructors, whether by engaging themes and literary forms not usually associated with African American literature or by departing from traditional modes of approaching historical, social, or legal struggles. Each chapter offers a specific reading of a particular novel, memoir, or poetry collection, sometimes in concert with a second, related text, and suggests both a useful critical context and one or more pedagogical approaches. Engaging Tradition, Making It New points the way toward exciting new methods of teaching and researching authors in this dynamic field.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847185280
  • Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Pages: 165
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephanie Brown is an assistant professor of English at the Ohio State University. Her publications on African American literature, film, and theory have appeared in African American Review, Callaloo, Mosaic, and Paradoxa, among other journals, as well as in various essay collections. She teaches courses in American literature, African American literature, and film. Eva Tettenborn is an assistant professor of English at the Pennsylvania State University. She has published articles on contemporary African American literature in Callaloo, Critique, MELUS, The Southern Literary Journal, and other journals. At Penn State Worthington Scranton she teaches African American literature, American studies, and writing courses.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Introduction: Engaging Tradition, Making It New: African American Literature in the Twenty-first Century Stephanie Brown Eva Tettenborn 1

Part I Call: Towards a New African American Literary Aesthetic

Chapter 1 African American Literature and the Post-Soul Aesthetic: Teaching the Poetry of Kevin Young and Elizabeth Alexander Jennifer Drake 13

Chapter 2 The Hillside Opera: Paul Beatty's The White Boy Shuffle as a Brechtian Opera Jared Champion 41

Chapter 3 The Politics of Joy: Reading the Black Middle Class in Diane McKinney-Whetstone's Blues Dancing and Leaving Cecil Street Éva Tettenborn 59

Part II Response: Contemporary African American Literature and the Canon

Chapter 4 Teaching Across the Centuries: Harriet Jacob's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Jill Nelson's Volunteer Slavery Robin Smiles 79

Chapter 5 Living Parchments, Human Documents: Racial Identity and Authorship in Percival Everett's Erasure and Hannah Crafts' The Bondwoman's Narrative Sinéad Moynihan 103

Chapter 6 The Resistant Body: Disability, History, and Classical Heroism in Colson Whitehead's Apex Hides the Hurt Josh Lukin 123

Conclusion "Horizontal thinking in a vertical world is the race's curse,"or "Is this a raced novel, or a novel that happens to be about race?" A Note on Teaching Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist Stephanie Brown 143

Appendix A Index 155

Appendix B Contributors 163

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