A Companion to African American Literature (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture)

A Companion to African American Literature (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture)

Gene Andrew Jarrett

Language: English

Pages: 477

ISBN: 1405188626

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Through a series of essays that explore the forms, themes, genres, historical contexts, major authors, and latest critical approaches, 'A Companion to African American Literature' presents a comprehensive chronological overview of African American literature from the eighteenth century to the modern day

• Examines African American literature from its earliest origins, through the rise of antislavery literature in the decades leading into the Civil War, to the modern development of contemporary African American cultural media, literary aesthetics, and political ideologies
• Addresses the latest critical and scholarly approaches to African American literature
• Features essays by leading established literary scholars as well as newer voices

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conveying their aims of racial progress. Since both realism and romance seemed ill fitted to express varied black experiences, black writers drew freely from both traditions, sometimes merging the aesthetic or ideological conventions of the two approaches to create a form more flexible for politically conscious art. Noting that black authors during the period were less engaged with “mainstream” realism or, better yet, that they crafted their own forms of realism invites us to rethink both African

African American authors destabilized the boundaries that attempted to separate didactic literature from disinterested art, romance from realism. By recognizing the interplay of multiple genres in any single text, we can trace the influence of realism in the works of Chesnutt and his turn-ofthe-century contemporaries. The Emergence of African American Literary Realism Though its definition remains contested, critics generally associate realism with these characteristics: detailed, realistic

Narrative of Slavery (2004), as well as essays and articles in a range of journals including African American Review, American Literature, and PMLA. Her current work deals with black feminist postmodernism in literature, performance, and visual art; African American literature and psychoanalytic theory and practice; and the intersections between memory and theory. Maurice S. Lee is Associate Professor of English at Boston University. He is the author of Slavery, Philosophy, and American

established a state religion, and re-elevated economic elites: he instated himself as ruler for life with the right to appoint his successor. This is the Toussaint of “The Character of the Celebrated Black General,” in which the imperative “to restore the planters, and revive the trade” displaces Toussaint’s race, mentioned only in the title and the first paragraph. We may contrast this configuration with that implicit in the Democratic-Republican press. Few Toussaint texts appeared in those

ancestors; to manage death; to produce social networks, communities, and relations of kinship; to address the imbalance of power between black and white; to stake a claim to their bodies to counter the plantation economy’s claim to ownership” (190). Facing radical social discontinuities and dislocations from the protections of traditional spiritual life, African Americans built new religious communities out of shared experiences of disruption and alienation. No Protestant movement spoke more

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