This course offers an overview of African-American literature, with glimpses into African and Caribbean literature. Beginning around 1845 with Frederick Douglass' Narrative, students will read from various literary genres, including slave narratives, poetry, short stories, fiction and plays that illuminate both the history of African America and changing ideas of race. Students will conduct ongoing independent research, which they will present to the class, on the major literacy and historical periods we cover, including the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and early 1930s, the civil rights movement(s), the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and early 1970s and the decades following. Reading works by Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Dubois, Zora Neale Thurston, Ralph Ellison, Gwendolyn Brooks, Chinua Achebe, Toni Morrison and Ishmael Reed, among others, will enable us to analyze how sexuality, gender, class and nationality influence various writers' definitions of race and ethnicity. Offered as needed.