A New Pedagogy for the 21st Century: Teaching African American Literature in an Integrated Fashion

September 2012

This seminar will explore past, current, and new ways of teaching African American literature. We want to challenge the most prevalent current approach to the teaching and anthologizing of this field, which contends that black authors are best read (only) in relationship to other black authors. By contrast, many scholars, including the ten invited to this seminar, emphasize in their research and pedagogy the connections between African American literature and broad currents of American public, intellectual, and literary discourse on race. Our seminar would give these scholars an opportunity to debate their different viewpoints with the goal of creating a new literary anthology—one that would advance the study of American literature on race from an integrated perspective. The invitees, who might later on serve as editors, will discuss the shape that this anthology might take and consider other ways of reorganizing the teaching of African American and American literary history.