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African-American Literature: Blackness and Empire

ENG 556/AAS 556

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Resistance to imperial expansion and exploitation is a familiar theme of twentieth-century projects of Black liberation. Less familiar are the specific, but no less significant, cases where empire is imagined as a source of Black freedom and self-determination. This seminar surveys U.S.-originating works of Black imperial representation and critique from the 1900s to the present. Framed by readings of historical and speculative fiction, the seminar engages scholarly debates on Blackness, diaspora, coloniality, and empire through writings by Sylvia Wynter, Adom Getachew, Nadia Nurhussein, and Erica R. Edwards.
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Section S01