Studies in Literary History

This seminar will provide an in-depth introduction to the literary, historical, geographical, and cultural phenomenon known as the Harlem Renaissance (1920-1930). In the first half of the seminar we will read Harlem Renaissance debates about the idea of art and the artist. We will then read many of the texts most often associated with the Harlem Renaissance. These include Jean Toomer’s Cane, Nella Larsen’s two novellas Quicksand and Passing, James Weldon Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, Jessie Fauset’s Plum Bun, Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones, Langston Hughes’s The Weary Blues, and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.