When Alice Walker went “looking for Zora” in an overgrown cemetery, she was on a personal quest to honor the dead writer Zora Neale Hurston.  Through her scholarly efforts, however, Walker also rediscovered a literary foremother.  Our own journey of (re)discover ing the tradition of African American women writers will begin with the hip hop generation's inheritance of a legacy, no longer discarded, which extends back through writings by black women during the feminist, Civil Rights, and Black Power Movements, the Harlem Renaissance, and the "Black Woman's Era" of the 1890s.



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What defines such a “tradition” among African American women writers?  This course will examine the “intersectionality” of black women's writing by concentrating on culture and ideologies of difference (race, “place,” class, gender, sexuality, etc.).  We will identify thematic explorations and structural frameworks that bind generations of writers.  We will also read selections of black feminist theory and criticism for contextual study and textual analysis of literature by African American women.