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AAS 359 — Twentieth Century and Contemporary African American Poetry (Sanders)


Course Instructor
Photograph of the instructor

Dr. Mark A. Sanders
Professor of English and Africana Studies
222 Decio Hall
(574) 631-1152

This course will examine African American poetry of the twentieth and twenty-first century. While we will attend to issues of artistry—voicing, prosody, diction, etc.—we will also address the ways in which the poetry responds to (and shapes) its cultural and political surroundings. Divided into three eras, the Harlem Renaissance, the Middle Generation, and Black Arts and beyond, the course will examine the multiple ways in which each collection responds to its cultural moment, while gesturing toward the preceding one and anticipating the next.

  • To develop an understanding of the African American poetics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
  • To develop the reading, analytic, and reasoning skills required for college-level literature courses
  • To develop the critical writing skills required for college-level research and analysis, particularly in literature courses.
  • To cultivate a love of reading, exploration, and experimentation.