Spring 2021

21L.320 Big Books: Kindred Sandy Alexandre TR 3:00-4:30p Virtual

Prereq: none
2-0-4 Can be repeated for credit

(Begins April 5) What are the adventures and dangers associated with traveling back to your past? What if your ancestors are enslaved in that past, and you have to bear witness to how slavery’s legacy continues to inform your life story? What is a creative way to reckon with one’s complicated and checkered past? How is one’s confrontation with the past a form of self-improvement even if it also threatens self-destruction? How can we view the past as a character who is always in conversation with other characters in a work of fiction? These are just some of the fascinating questions that Octavia Butler’s science-fiction novel Kindred poses its readers. So, these are also just some of the questions we’ll consider as we allow ourselves the opportunity and the pacing to read this book in a deliberative manner. After all, in a book that will have us frequently time traveling, we will surely need the time to recover from all of the jet lag. I look forward to creating the space that will enable us to stop and think carefully about each class day’s assigned pages of reading.