12:00 PM to 01:15 PM T
Horizon Hall 3008 - Hybrid
Section Information for Fall 2023
The 1831 insurrection in Southampton County, Virginia, led by Nat Turner, is one of the best-known examples of people enslaved in the United States seeking to obtain their freedom through armed resistance. In the years since, Virginians and others have told and retold the story of the insurrection and other rebellions against slavery from a variety of perspectives and for a variety of purposes, reflecting in the process on the meanings of slavery, freedom, and individual and national identity. This course will examine a selection of these narratives dating from the time of the insurrection to the early twentieth century. Since this is a class that meets the literature requirement of the Mason Core, we will pay particular attention to the literary and rhetorical features that help to convey the authors’ messages to audiences situated in particular cultural, political, geographic, and other contexts. The course also serves as an introduction to some of the genres in which Americans in general, and African Americans in particular, expressed themselves during the 19th century, including autobiographical and historical narratives, fiction, biography, and polemic speaking and writing.
In this hybrid section, our consideration of each text will begin with virtual activities – reading and annotating the text – and continue with once a week in-person discussion of the texts we have read and annotated. In addition to these activities, there will be a take-home midterm and final.
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