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Research Guides

ENGL 401-Contemporary Literary Theory-Prof. Mikko Tuhkanen (Fall 2021)

Welcome

This guide will introduce you to some of the best library and web resources related to this course. If you have suggestions for how to improve this guide please contact Rebecca Hankins.  Please feel free to leave your comments and additions. Enjoy!

Books of Interest

Giovanni's Room

James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

With startling realism that brings  Harlem and the black experience vividly to life,  This is a work that touches the heart with emotion while it stimulates the mind with its narrative style, symbolism, and excoriating vision of racism in America. Moving through time from the rural  South to the northern ghetto, starkly contrasting the attitudes of two generations of an embattles family, Go Tell It On The Mountain is an unsurpassed portrayal of human beings caught up in a dramatic struggle and of a society confronting inevitable change. 

Black Metropolis by St. Clair Drake and Horace Cayton

Black Metropolis remains a landmark study of race and urban life. Based on a mass of research conducted by Works Progress Administration field workers in the late 1930s, it is a historical and sociological account of the people of Chicago's South Side, the classic urban ghetto. Drake and Cayton's findings not only offer a generalized analysis of black migration, settlement, community structure, and black-white race relations in the early part of the twentieth century, but also tell us what has changed in the last hundred years and what has not. 

The Hills of Hebron by Sylvia Wynter

Written in the late 1950s on the cusp of Jamaica's independence from Britain, The Hills of Hebron tells the story of a group of formerly enslaved Jamaicans as they attempt to create a new life and assert themselves against the colonial power. Based on the early twentieth century Bedwardism movement (a revivalist group led by Alexander Bedward), The Hills of Hebron, was one of the first attempts to present the lives of black Jamaicans not as colonial subjects, but as independent human beings. " "

Defining Literary Criticism

Outlining the controversies that have surrounded the academic discipline of English Literature since its institutionalization in the late nineteenth century, this important book draws on a range of archival sources. It addresses issues that are central to the identity of academic English - how the subject came into existence, and what makes it a specialist discipline of knowledge - in a manner that illuminates many of the crises that have affected the development of modern English studies. Atherton also addresses contemporary arguments about the teaching of literary criticism, including an examination of the reforms to A-Level literature.

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