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Research Guides

ENGL671: Readings in American Literature to 1900- Prof. Ira Dworkin - Spring 2020


Books of Interest

Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave

A narrative of the experiences of fugitive slave, William W. Brown of his time spent as a slave and his escape. Written by William Brown.

The Collected Works of Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784), the first black American to publish a book, was internationally famous during her short life. This edition, with an essay by the editor, restores her to her proper place in America's literary heritage.

Dismantling Slavery

In 1841, William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass formed a partnership that would last a decade and forever change the abolitionist movement.

The Norton Anthology of African American Literature - Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Organized chronologically, this anthology of African-American literature brings together the work of 123 writers from 1746 to the present. This second edition features a varied selection of genres and a wealth of vernacular forms.

Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an

In this original and illuminating book, Denise A. Spellberg reveals a little-known but crucial dimension of the story of American religious freedom--a drama in which Islam played a surprising role. Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an is a timely look at the ideals that existed at our country's creation, and their fundamental implications for our present and future.

The Moor's Account

In this stunning work of historical fiction, Laila Lalami brings us the imagined memoirs of the first black explorer of America--a Moroccan slave whose testimony was left out of the official record. The Moor's Account brilliantly captures Estebanico's voice and vision, giving us an alternate narrative for this famed expedition. In Laila Lalami's deft hands, Estebanico's memoir illuminates the ways in which stories can transmigrate into history, even as storytelling can offer a chance for redemption and survival.


Melville's long poem Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1876) was the last full-length book he published. Until the mid-twentieth century, even the most partisan of Melville's advocates hesitated to endure a four-part poem of 150 cantos and almost 18,000 lines about a naive American named Clarel, on a pilgrimage through the Palestinian ruins with a provocative cluster of companions.   

Servants of Allah

Sylviane Diouf shows in this new, meticulously researched volume, Islam flourished during slavery on a large scale. Servants of Allah presents a history of African Muslim slaves, following them from Africa to the Americas. Servants of Allah is the first book to examine the role of Islam in the lives of both individual practitioners and in the American slave community as a whole, while also shedding light on the legacy of Islam in today's American and Caribbean cultures.

Up from Slavery - Booker T Washington

Up from Slavery is the 1901 autobiography of Booker T. Washington detailing his personal experiences in working to rise from the position of a slave child during the Civil War, to the difficulties and obstacles he overcame to get an education at the new Hampton University, to his work establishing vocational schools-most notably the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama-to help black people and other disadvantaged minorities learn useful, marketable skills and work to pull themselves, as a race, up by the bootstraps. 

Zulu Heart

Lion's Blood, the first novel in this saga, was published in Aspect hardcover in 2/02 to great acclaim. * One of the few black writers to have made a reputation in this genre, Bames has collaborated on bestselling novels with SF masters Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. * Alternate history is a popular subgenre that includes such acclaimed novels as Fatherland by Robert Harris (HarperCollins, 1995), and the classic The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (Vintage, 1992). * Steven Barnes joins Aspect's respected list of African American science fiction writers, which includes Octavia E. Butler, LeVar Burton, Walter Mosley, and Nalo Hopkinson, among others.

Lion's Blood

Steven Barnes’ two novels, Lions Blood and Zulu Heart that comprise his Insha’Allah (If God Wills) series, represent a unique perspective on the peculiar institution of slavery written within the genre of science fiction. The stories offer an alternative universe where the Africans and other people of color are the slaveholders and Europeans are the slaves. Set in the Antebellum South, now called Bilalistan, which mirrors what was considered ancient Africa (Ethiopia/Egypt), with the inhabitants as a pawn in an ongoing succession of battles between Egypt’s Pharaoh and Ethiopia’s Empress for control of economic wealth. (Rebecca Hankins, Africana Islamic Studies)