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Prof. Ford
English 410-42608
English 510-42609
Room: 242 Gilbert
MUWH 12:00-12:50
Office: 530 PLC
Hours: MUW, 1:00-2:00
and by appointment
Phone: 346-1314



Gwendolyn Brooks, Selected Poems
Cary Nelson, Anthology of Modern American Poetry
Cary Nelson, [web site for Anthology of Modern American Poetry] :
Ntozake Shange, for colored girls who have considered suicide . . .
Jean Toomer, Cane
English 410/510
Reading Packet available at The Copy Shop, 539 East 13th Street, 485-6253. 1


Punctual, regular attendance is a requirement; your grade will be dropped one full letter, without warning, for every five absences.


You will note that on the Course Syllabus, every day the class meets is identified, with every reading you are responsible for listed. Readings will be from one of the four books (Nelson, Toomer, Brooks, Shange), from the web site that accompanies the Oxford Anthology of Modern American Poetry, or from handouts. We will sometimes begin class with a quiz to encourage everyone to keep up on the readings and to generate discussion.


Assignments and instructions appear in your Course Packet, and I will explain them further in class. Out-of-class work must by typed on standard, white paper (no onion-skin or erasable paper and no xeroxes) and must be handed in on time. The due dates for assignments are listed on the Syllabus. Submit your papers at my office on the due dates by 5:00 p.m. Unless we have made arrangements well in advance of the due date, I will not accept late papers. Keep a copy for yourself in case the original is lost. No secondary reading is required or encouraged; however, if you choose to use sources, they must be properly documented. Please review the University policy regarding academic dishonesty (in the Schedule of Classes), which will be strictly enforced in this class. All written work must be prepared according to the "Format Instructions" (1) and will be graded for form as well as content, so be sure to get help on writing (mechanics, argument, and style) and essay form in plenty of time if you need it.

Poem Kit: An exercise on the mechanics of poetry. Detailed instructions in the Course Packet.

Essay #1: A close reading of a single poem. Instructions and sample in Course Packet.

Essay #2: A longer essay on a group of poems.

In-Class Examinations: A 50-minute midterm and a 110-minute final exam covering literary terms, literary history, readings, lectures, and discussions.

Recitations: Each student will recite (not memorize) four poems from our readings, in class or in my office. Recitations of a particular poem must occur during the week the poem is on the syllabus; one recitation per student per week. Guidelines for preparing recitations are in the Course Packet.


Poem Kit 10%
Essay #1 10%
Essay #2 25%
Midterm Examination 20%
Final Examination 25%
Recitations 10%

Incompletes will be given for documented medical emergencies only.

Please note the exam dates: The midterm examination will be held during the regular class period on July 17. The final examination for this class has been scheduled by the University for Thursday, August 10 from 1:30-3:50 pm. There will be no alternate or make-up exams.

If you have a documented disability and anticipate needing accommodations in this course, please make arrangements to meet with me soon and request that the Counselor for Students with Disabilities send a letter verifying your disability.

Course Syllabus - English 410/510


1 = reading packet : = web site

Date Reading Assignment Due
6/19 Course Introduction; African-American literary history
6/20 Dunbar, 37-41
6/21 The Harlem Renaissance
Johnson, 31-34; McKay, 314-319; Cullen, 530-535; Bontemps, 526
6/22 Dunbar-Nelson, 106; Grimké, 145-146; Johnson, 147-148; Bennett, 528-529; Luluah, 550;
6/26 Johnson, Preface to The Book of American Negro Poetry (1921) and Preface to second edition (1931) : ; Cullen, Forward to Caroling Dusk : ;
6/27 Brown, "Dunbar and Traditional Dialect" (Dunbar site : ); Hughes, "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain" :
6/28 Brown, 473-485
6/29 Brown, 473-485 Recitation #1 due by today
6/30 Poem Kit due by 5:00
7/3 Hughes, 502-525
7/4 Independence Day Holiday No class
7/5 Hughes, 502-525
7/6 Hughes, 502-525
7/10 Toomer, Cane, part 1
7/11 Toomer, Cane, part 2
7/12 Toomer, Cane, part 3 Recitation #2 due by today
7/13 Midterm Exam
7/17 Tolson, 412-418
7/18 Tolson, 412-418
7/19 Hayden, 691-704
7/20 Hayden, 691-704
7/21 Essay #1 due by 5:00
7/24 Brooks, Selected, Bronzeville section, 3-11
7/25 Brooks, Selected, "Satin Legs," 12-18
7/26 Brooks, Anthology, "Gay Chaps" 768-772
7/27 Brooks, Selected, Bean Eaters section, 69-112 Recitation #3 due by today
7/31 The Black Arts Movement--Baraka, 997-999; Cortez, 1026-1027; Smith, 1062-1067
8/1 Karenga, "Black Art" 2 ; Gayle, "Black Aesthetic" 2 ; Fuller, "Towards a Black Aesthetic" 2
8/2 Knight, 968-972; Rodgers, 1095-1097
8/3 Shange, for colored girls . . .
8/4 Essay #2 due by 5:00
8/7 Clifton, 1030-1033
8/8 Komunyakaa, 1142-1147
8/9 Ai, 1149-1152 Recitation #4 due by today
8/10 1:30-3:50 Final Exam

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