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James Baldwin: LIfe, Letters & Legacy

African And African-american Studies 3422 - Spring 2019

In his 1972 essay No Name in the Street James Baldwin recounts that he could never in good conscience just write, because he had never been just a writer. Indeed, Baldwin saw himself as a "public witness to the situation of black people," compelled to speak truth to power in whatever form he deemed necessary. Baldwin as: black, gay, man, American, author, activist, and so much more, has served as an essential figure in theorizing alterities of the presumed rigidity of these very concepts. In this respect, this course will center Baldwin the thinker as much as Baldwin the author. We will examine his classic novels and essays as well as his work across many less-examined domains - theatre, sermon, dialogue, film, short story. Moreover, while committing ourselves to close reading methods, we will situate Baldwin's works within socio-historical context and consider how he shaped, and was shaped by, events beginning with the Civil Rights Era through our precarious contemporary moment in which he remains, often tragically, a timely voice.
Course Attributes: BU HumBU BAFA HUMAR HUM

Section 01

James Baldwin: LIfe, Letters & Legacy
INSTRUCTOR: Manditch-Prottas
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