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A Comparative Study of the Harlem Renaissance Movement and Négritude

Focus: Comparative Literature

This course aims at showing that though the two literary movements developed in regions far apart (USA, France, Africa, and the Caribbean) and in different languages (English and French) they exhibit similarities.  “Validation of Black People’s Cultures” is part these similarities.  Such an outcome can be predicted, because these two movements embarked on giving back to Blacks the humanity they lost thanks to the Atlantic Trade and later colonization.  In fact, the Blacks needed to be turned to beings inferior to Humans in order to justify the unacceptable conditions Western imperialists submitted millions of black populations to in order to make huge profits. Baldwin in his book Nobody Knows My Name, More Notes of A Native Son asserted that:

“At the time that I was growing up, Negroes in this country were taught to be
ashamed of Africa.  They were taught it bluntly, as I was, for example, by being
told that Africa had never contributed “anything” to civilization.  Or once was
taught the same lesson more obliquely, and even more effectively, by watching
nearly naked, dancing, comic-opera, cannibalistic savages in the movies.  They
were nearly always all bad, sometimes funny, sometimes both.  If one of them
was good, his goodness was proved by his loyalty to the white man.””
(Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name, More Notes of A Native Son:  p.72)
This course is going to dwell heavily on the poems written by Langston Hughes, and Claude McKay for the Harlem Renaissance and Léopold Sédar Senghor and Aimé Césaire for Négritude.  To these poems would be added some of Zora Neale Hurston’s stories, especially the ones written in the 1920s.”

Professors: Anderson Bastos Martins (UFJF), Ayao M. Nubukpo (Binghamton University, State University of New York – USA)

Language: English

Place: Literary Sudies Graduate Program, Defenses’ Room

Courseload: 15h

Date&Time: July 24-28, from 2pm to 5pm

Target audience: undergraduate and graduate students

Spots available: 15

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): 4, 16