Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials Seminar. 2 hours per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 5,000 word essay  Essay:  100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. Where this involves re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected.  essay, 5,000 words  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module, students should be able to:

1. demonstrate, in the written assignment, an understanding of the African American text(s) under review which is informed by an engagement with and understanding of relevant secondary reading on civil rights and African American history;

2. demonstrate an awareness of the broader cultural and theoretical issues raised by the module;

3. demonstrate an ability to write competently about the texts with reference to their cultural and historical background;

4. produce organized, coherently argued and critically informed work.


This module aims to enable students to:

1. study a range of African American prose and drama texts and engage with relevant contextual and critical material;

2. appraise some tof the challenges to the monolithic version of Americanness if the post-war period;

3. examine the ways in which the texts selected for study engage with or embody the complex conditions which gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement.

Brief description

This module aims to examine the cultural, social, and political condition of the United States in the aftermath of the Second World War through the lens of a series of key African-American texts published in the post-war period. These African-American prose and drama texts allow an appraisal of some of the challenges to the monolithic version of Americanness in the dominant discourses of the time. These texts also embody, either prospectively or retrospectively, the complex conditions which gave rise to the Civil Rights movement.


_1. Post-War American Drama

LeRoi Jones, "Dutchman" (1964); August Wilson, "Fences", (1986)

_2. Growing up in America

James Baldwin, "Go Tell It On The Mountain" (1953)

_3. Black Fiction and Political Strategies (1)

Ralph Ellison, "Invisible Man", (1952); James Baldwin, "The Fire Next Time" (1963)
'Eyes on the Prize', Selected episodes TV documentary; see also The Autobiography of Malcolm X

_4. Post War Drama by Women

Lorraine Hansberry, "A Raisin in the Sun", (1959)

_5. Black Fiction and Political Strategies (2)

Gloria Naylor, "The Women of Brewster Place" (1980); Ann Petry, "The Street", (1946)

Reading List

Should Be Purchased
Ann Petry The Street Houghton Mifflin Primo search August Wilson (1995) Fences Plume Books Primo search Gloria Naylor The Women of Brewster Place Minerva Primo search James Baldwin (2001) Go Tell It On the Mountain Penguin Modern Classics Primo search James Baldwin (1990) The Fire Next Time Penguin Twentieth Century Classics Primo search Leroi Jones (1999) The Leroi Jones / Amiri Baraka Reader Thunder's Mouth Press Primo search Lorraine Hansberry A Raisin in the Sun Methuen Primo search Ralph Ellison (2001) Invisible Man Penguin Modern Classics Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7