Course overview

From the 1920s well through the 1930s, there was a blossoming of African American literature, culture, and art known as the Harlem Renaissance. Across this literary and cultural movement, African American and Black authors, intellectuals, and artists sought to redefine Black identity outside of persistent prejudiced stereotypes and fully depict Black individuals and communities as part of the modern world. Developing technologies of the early 20th century (periodicals, magazines, photography, and film) paralleled and advanced the Harlem Renaissance.

Cover of Survey Graphic: Harlem Mecca of the New Negro (1925) Ed. Alain Locke

In this course, we will examine, excavate, and form contemporary connections to the literature of the Harlem Renaissance by reading canonical texts and exploring the print and visual culture of the period that has been digitized. We will analyze and interpret materials drawing upon historical and cultural context,  and ideas from gender and sexuality studies, black studies, and archival studies. We will also develop a student-driven digital humanities praxis by creating and curating digital archival showcases and guides to the Harlem Renaissance (e.g.#schomburgsyllabus; #PRsyllabus)

Crisis Magazine Cover February 1916. Vol 12. No. 2 Edited by W.E.B. Du Bois