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ERIC Number: EJ952027
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: 11
African-American Literature and "Post-Racial" America. Or, You Know, Not.
Blackwell, Jacqueline A.
Inquiry, v16 n1 p67-74 Spr 2011
In 1983, when the author began graduate school at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville as the only black student in the Graduate English School, it offered no graduate-level African-American Literature course. Today an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia can major in African-American and African Studies and take courses like African-American Drama, Black Women Writers in America, and Fictions of Black Identity. A graduate student can take her pick of four graduate-level courses: Early African-American Literature, African-American Poetry, Studies in African-American Literature and African-American Literature. Now there are arguments about the "balkanization" of literature, and a graduate student in English Language and Literature at the University of Virginia can take a course in Charles Dickens, Keats, Mark Twain, or Joyce's "Ulysses". Arguments have begun, even among black scholars, against continuing to teach black literature and/or black history in American universities and colleges. In this article, the author argues that some scholars no longer see the need for African-American literature courses, and this trend may already be reflected on at least one community college campus. She contends that there is no way to get to the "post-racial" part of future history unless one discusses the hard subjects.
Descriptors: African American Students, Undergraduate Students, African American Literature, Graduate Students, African Studies, Universities, African American History, United States Literature, Poetry, College Faculty, Teacher Attitudes, Community Colleges, Race, United States History
Virginia Community Colleges Association and Virginia Community College System. 101 North 14th Street, Richmond, VA 23219. Tel: 804-819-4666; Fax: 804-819-4771; Web site: http://www.vccaedu.org/inquiry
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia