ENG356Y1Y - L5101

African-Canadian Literature


Tuesday 6 pm - 9 pm


George Elliot Clarke

E-mail: libretto@chass.utoronto.ca

Brief Description of Course

Arguably, along with Indigenous Canadian writing, the most dynamic and exciting literature in Canada is that composed by the descendants of former slaves, or fugitives from slavery, or anti-slavery revolutionaries and anti-imperialist rebels (including colonized Africans and West Indians and Haitians), or refugees from apartheid, tyranny, warm and civil war, from 1605 until 2022 (and onward). To comprehend this global, but very Canadian literature, we will study a dozen-plus texts, in English and in English translation (from French), from early writers to the first giants (such as Austin Clarke), and across all genres (poetry, prose, fiction, plays), and from across Canada, East Coast to BC, and across all aspects of the Diaspora: "Africadian," Bajan, Trini, Afro-Metis, African, etc., and include Spoken Word (orature) as well as standard lit(erature). Other writers to be comprehended? Brand, Compton, Alexis, Laferriere, Edugyan, Mayr, Reid-Benta, Thompson.... Prize winners & unapologetic, in-yo-face activists. Due to the nature of the course, we will explore difficult subjects: Inhumanity, prejudice, killings-by-cops, the nature of white supremacy, etc. We will discuss these topics because the writers do. We will also screen films and have guests. This course will be an experience. Are you ready?

Required Reading(s)


First Three Authors/Texts


Method of Evaluation