This course is an exploration of African American satire, focusing on fiction. While continually developing and refining our definition of satire, we will situate satire by black artists in a broader American tradition. Possible topics of study include the double-edged quality of racial humor, satire and racial politics, and the role of stereotypes in satirical representation. We will also consider the link between satire and gender, and the apparent lack of satirical novels by African American women.
We will read authors such as Langston Hughes, Phillip Schuyler, Percival Everett, Trey Ellis, Zora Neale Hurston, Ishmael Reed, Pat Parker and Nikki Giovanni, supplementary works by Richard Wright and Mark Twain, as well as theories of satire.
Students will complete 2 short writing assignments and a longer research paper.