Fall Texts

Women’s Diasporic Literature: – No Telephone to Heaven, Michelle Cliff (1987) – The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat (2004) – Sula, Toni Morrison (1973) – Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine (2014) + Short Stories and Essays Weird Fictions – Kindred, Octavia Butler (1979) Butler’s obituary  – Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro (2005) Something about Kathy… – Pedro Páramo, Juan Rulfo (1955) […]

Beyond Black

Hilary Mantel, when describing how she writes, refers to a passage near the beginning of her earlier novel Beyond Black, about a performing medium, Alison: She takes a breath, she smiles, and she starts a peculiar form of listening. It is a silent sensory ascent; it is like listening from a stepladder, poised on the […]

Toni Morrison on Language

The language must be careful and must appear effortless. It must not sweat. It must suggest and be provocative at the same time. It is the thing that black people love so much—the saying of words, holding them on the tongue, experimenting with them, playing with them. It’s a love, a passion. Its function is […]

My Upcoming Seminars

Fall 2014 Reading Generically: Modern Short Prose Disturbing the Peace: Baldwin, Morrison, and a Black Literary Tradition Spring 2015 Representing Reality: The Literature of Kleist and Kafka The Idea of Europe: Readings in the 20th Century Novel Fall 2015 Writing from the Diaspora: Readings in Contemporary Women’s Fiction Reading Generically: Weird Fictions Spring 2016 An […]

Narrating the Nation

From “Introduction: narrating the nation” by Homi K. Bhabha, in Nation and Narration, ed. Homi K. Bhabha Nations, like narrative, lose their origins in the myths of time and only fully realize their horizons in the mind’s eye. Such an image of the nation–or narration–might seem impossibly romantic and excessively metaphorical, but it is from those […]