These are the courses I teach most frequently at the College of Charleston. For a full list of courses I’ve taught, please see my CV.
Black Women Writers
This course explores the literature of black American women writers in the 20th and 21st centuries. While we will cover a large span of time in this course (the earliest work we will read was published in 1924 and the latest was published in 2009), this is not a historical survey. Instead we will consider how these writers use the figure of the black woman and her intersectional identity to explore social, political, and aesthetic ideas. What happens, for instance, when you put a black woman at the center of a conventional romance plot, or the center of an unconventional alien abduction story? How might we define and redefine freedom, justice, desire, pleasure, genius, or art, if we examine these concepts through the lens of black female experience and expression?
Readings include Their Eyes Were Watching God (Hurston), Something Like Love (Jenkins), and Third Girl From the Left (Southgate).
Survey of American Literature
In this course we will study American literature from the colonial period to the present. We will consider how the authors covered attempt to narrate America. What story do they attempt to tell about America? What aesthetic choices do authors make in their attempts to define and redefine American-ness? What happens when the stories of America conflict and contradict?
Survey of African American Literature
In this course we will study African American literature from its origins in the American colonial period, to the contemporary work of writers like Kiese Laymon and Elizabeth Alexander. We will consider how the authors covered attempt to narrate blackness. What story do they attempt to tell about black people? What aesthetic choices do authors make in their attempts to define and redefine blackness? What happens when they do not participate in this project at all?
Introduction to English Studies
English 299 is a writing-intensive course designed to help students transition into upper-division English classes. It serves both as an introduction to the various disciplines that make up the field of English Studies as well as a more practical guide to conducting research and writing papers in English classes. In the course, we’ll examine the history and current state of the field; we’ll begin to explore a wide range of critical concepts and how these concepts are used in “reading” texts; and we’ll practice the steps involved in proposing, researching, and drafting an analytical essay.
The Graphic Novel
This course aims to broaden students’ understanding of and appreciation for comic art. To that end, we will consider the comic book/graphic novel as a long-form comic that aspires not only to narrative coherence and closure, but to formal complexity and psychological depth. In other words, we will consider the graphic novel as literature.
Readings include Saga (Vaughan and Staples); Nat Turner (Baker); Bayou (Love); Hawkeye (Fraction); and Fun Home (Bechdel).
In this course we will examine the literary period between World War I and the Great Depression commonly called The Harlem Renaissance. Specifically we will seek to answer the following questions:
- What were the goals of the Harlem Renaissance?
- What was the social/historical/political context of the movement?
- Was the Harlem Renaissance an actual movement?
- What were the prominent aesthetic and ideological debates of the movement?
- Who were the major writers and what were the major works of the movement?
- What do the HR writers have in common with other writers of the same time? In what ways do they differ?