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Race and African-American Literature

Race and African-American Literature

PhD Orals List

 

Choose thirty-two primary texts, making sure that a wide range of genres are represented.

 

Novel and Short Story

 

1.  Harriet Wilson.  Our Nig (1859)

2.  Martin Delany.  Blake (1859)

3.  Frances Harper.  Iola Leroy; Or, Shadow Uplifted (1892)

4.  Charles W. Chestnutt.  The Marrow of Tradition (1901)

5.  James Weldon Johnson.  The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912)

6.  Jean Toomer.  Cane (1923)

7.  Nella Larsen.  Passing (1929)

8.  George Schuyler. Black No More (1931)

9.  Wallace Thurman.  Infants of the Spring (1932)

10.  Richard Wright. Uncle Tom’s Children (1938, 1940) OR Native Son (1940)

11.  Zora Neale Hurston.  Their Eyes Were Watching God (1936)

12.  Ann Petry.  The Street (1946) or The Narrows (1953)

13.  Ralph Ellison.  Invisible Man (1952)

14.  James Baldwin.  Go Tell It On the Mountain (1953)

15.  Gwendolyn Brooks.  Maud Martha (1953)

16.  Ernest Gaines.  Bloodline (1968) or A Lesson Before Dying (1993)

17.  Ishmael Reed.  Flight to Canada (1976)

18.  Octavia Butler.  Kindred (1979)

19.  Alice Walker.  The Color Purple (1982)

20.  Toni Morrison.  Beloved (1987)

21.  Michelle Cliff.  No Telephone to Heaven (1987)

22.  Randall Kenan.  A Visitation of Spirits (1989)

23.  Paul Beatty.  White Boy Shuffle (1996) or Touré.  The Portable Promised Land (2003)

24.  Edward P. Jones.  The Known World (2003)

 

Personal Narrative

 

25.  Oludah Equiano.  The Interesting Narrative… (1787)

26.  Thomas Gray.  The Confessions of Nat Turner (1831)

27.  Frederick Douglass.  Narrative of the Life of Frederic Douglas, An American Slave (1845)

28.  Harriet Jacobs.  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)

29.  Booker T. Washington.  Up From Slavery (1901)

30.  Richard Wright.  Black Boy (1945)

31.  Malcolm X with Alex Haley.  The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)

32.  Audre Lorde.  Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (1983)

33.  Barack Obama.  Dreams from my Father (1995)

34.  Bliss Broyard.  One Drop (2007)

 

Theory, Criticism, Polemics

 

35.  David Walker.  David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World (1829)

36.  Anna Julia Cooper.  A Voice from the South (1892)

37.  W.E.B. DuBois.  The Souls of Black Folk (1903)

38.  Alain Locke.  "The New Negro" (1925)

39.  George Schuyler.  “Negro Art Hokum” (1926)

40.  Langston Hughes.  "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain" (1926)

41.  Zora Neale Hurston.  “How it Feels to be Colored Me”

42.  James Baldwin.  Notes of a Native Son (1955)

43.  Ralph Ellison.  Shadow and Act (1964)

44.  LeRoi Jones/Baraka.  Home: Social Essays (1968)

45.  Patricia Williams.  The Alchemy of Race and Rights (1991)

46.  Toni Morrison.  Playing in the Dark (1992)

 

Drama and Film

 

47.  William Wells Brown.  The Escape; or, A Leap for Freedom (1858)

48.  Oscar Micheaux.  Within Our Gates (1919)

49.  Lorraine Hansbury.  A Raisin in the Sun (1959)

50.  Amiri Baraka.  Dutchman (1964)

51.  Ed Bullins.  In the Wine Time (1968)

52.  Melvin Van Peebles.  Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)

53.  August Wilson.  Fences (1986)

54.  Spike Lee.  Do the Right Thing (1989)

55.  Anna Deavere Smith.  Fires in the Mirror (1993)

56.  Julie Dash.  Daughters of the Dust (1991)

57.  John Singleton.  Boyz in the Hood (1991) OR Rosewood (1997)

58.  Suzan-Lori Parks.  The America Play (1994)

 

Poetry

 

59.  Phillis Wheatley

  • "To Maecenas" (1773)
  • "On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield, 1770" (1773)
  • "To the Right Honorable William, Earl of Dartmouth" (1773)
  • "To Samson Occon" (1774)
  • "To His Excellency General Washington" (1776)

60.  Paul Laurence Dunbar

  • "A Negro Love Song" (1895)
  • "When Malindy Sings" (1895)
  • "We Wear the Mask" (1895)
  • "Sympathy" (1899)
  • "The Haunted Oak" (1903)

61.  Claude McKay

  • "If We Must Die" (1919)
  • "The Lynching" (1920)
  • "America" (1921)
  • "The White House" (1922)

62.  James Weldon Johnson

  • "Sence You Went Away" (1900)
  • "O Black and Unknown Bards" (1908)
  • "The Creation" (1927)
  • "Judgment Day" (1927)

63.  Langston Hughes

  • "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" (1921)
  • "Mother to Son" (1922)
  • "The Weary Blues" (1925)
  • "Christ in Alabama" (1931)
  • "Advertisement for the Waldorf-Astoria" (1931)
  • "Let America Be America Again" (1938)
  • "Ballad of the Landlord" (1940, 1955)
  • "Dream Boogie" (1951, 1959)
  • "Harlem" (1951, 1959)

64.  Gwendolyn Brooks

  • "kitchenette building" (1945)
  • "the mother" (1945)
  • "Sadie Maud" (1945)
  • "Gay Chaps at the Bar" (1945)
  • "We Real Cool" (1960)
  • "Malcolm X" (1968)
  • "Riot" (1969)
  • "The Last Quatrain of the Ballad of Emmett Till" (1960)

65.  Robert Hayden

  • "Homage to the Empress of the Blues" (1962)
  • "Middle Passage" (1962)
  • "Frederick Douglass" (1962)
  • "A Ballad of Remembrance" (1962)
  • "Those Winter Sundays" (1962)
  • "Mourning Poem for the Queen of Sunday" (1962)
  • "A Letter from Phillis Wheatley" (1978)

66.  Amiri Baraka

  • "Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note" (1961)
  • "Black Art" (1969)

67.  Rita Dove

  • "David Walker" (1980)
  • "Parsley" (1983)
  • "From Thomas and Beulah, "The Event" (1986)
  • "Mother Love" (1995)
  • "Demeter Mourning" (1995)

 

Critical and Theoretical Texts

 

Choose eight secondary texts, two from each category.

 

Literary Historical, Cultural, and Diaspora Studies

1.  Addison Gayle, Jr.  The Way of the New World: The Black Novel in America (1975)

2.  Melvin Dixon.  Ride Out the Wilderness: Geography and Identity in Afro-American Literature (1987)

3.  Eric Sundquist.  To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature (1993)

4.  Farah Jasmine Griffin.  “Who set you flowin’?”: The African-American Migration Narrative (1995)

5.  Brent Hayes Edwards.  The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism (2003)

6.  Keith Leonard.  Fettered Genius: The African American Bardic Poet from Slavery to Civil Rights (2006)

    

Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, & Psychoanalysis

1. Robert B. Stepto.  From Behind the Veil: A Study of Afro-American Narrative (1979)

2. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  Signifyin’ Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism (1988)

3. Saidiya Hartman.  Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in 19th Century America (1997)

4. Lindon Barrett.  Blackness and Value: Seeing Double (1999)

5. Hortense Spillers.  “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book” (1987) and “‘All the Things You Could Be by Now, If Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother’: Psychoanalysis and Race” (1996)

 



 

Gender and Queer Theory

 

1. Deborah E. McDowell.  ‘The Changing Same’: Black Women’s Literature, Criticism, and Theory (1995)

2. Valerie Smith.  Not Just Race, Not Just Gender: Black Feminist Readings (1998)

3. Maurice O. Wallace.  Constructing the Black Masculine: Identity and Ideality in African American Men’s Literature and Culture, 1775-1995 (2002)

4. Marlon B. Ross.  Manning the Race: Reforming Black Men in the Jim Crow Era (2004)

5. Roderick A. Ferguson.  Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique (2004)

6. E. Patrick Johnson.  Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology (2005)

 

Vernacular, Popular, and Media Studies

 

1. Houston A. Baker, Jr.  Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature: A Vernacular Theory (1984)

2. Tricia Rose.  Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (1994)

3. Jacqueline Najuma Stewart.  Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity (2005)

4. Jacqueline Goldsby.  A Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature (2006)