Brief Description of Course: In this course, we will read a selection of epics, epyllia that are arguably epic, and narrative lyric suites that could be considered epic in reach and scope. These works, authored by Afro-heritage authors from around the Americas, deal with the history and repercussions of slavery, imperialism, racialization, and hybridity. We will read works by M. Tolson, D. Walcott, M.N. Philip, and others, all of which offer provocative narrative (of one sort or another), bracing (or caustic) critiques of oppressions (plural), and which challenge or expand traditional, canonical definitions of the epic form/format.
Required Reading: Tolson, Harlem Gallery; Walcott, Omeros; Philip, Zong!; Mordecai, Book of Mary; Castro, Cantos to Blood & Honey; W. Compton, 49th Parallel Psalm; Trethewey, Bellocq’s Ophelia; and likely Cesaire--in English translation, namely, Notebook of a Return to My Native Land.
First Three Authors/Texts: Tolson, Walcott, Philip
Method of Instruction: Lecture and seminar discussion.
Method of Evaluation: One short paper and one research paper.
Department of English | University of Toronto, St. George Campus | 170 St. George Street | Toronto, Ontario, Canada | M5R 2M8
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