Skip Navigation
Distance Learning
Home > Academics > eLearning > Course Formats > Online > ENGL Online Course Descriptions > ENGL-206 African American Literature

ENGL-206 African American Literature

This course is an introduction to oral and written literature of African-American writers from the earliest times through the Harlem Renaissance to present times.

William Lowe
DH 146

Overall Course Objectives | Major Course Topics | Course Format | Orientation |
Course Requirements | Materials | Exams

Overall Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Identify and explain the significance of the different literary periods in African-American literature from the 1760s to the present.

2. Read critically and interpret African-American literature, answering questions raised in discussions and generated by the student's own inquiry.

3. Compare and/or contrast the historical, social, cultural, and literary milieus of significant periods in the development of African-American literature.

4. Write critically on tests, papers, and journals about ideas, issues and major authors of African-American literature.

5. Analyze the possible reasons for the treatment of African-American literature, including the oral tradition.

6. Collaborate with peers in posing and answering questions about the text, as well as questions posed by the instructor.

7. Research works from a biographical, historical, social, political, and aesthetic context.

Top of Page

Major Course Topics

List the major topics

  • Beginning to the Civil War
    • Poetry
    • Essays
    • Autobiography/Slave Narratives
    • Spirituals
  • The Civil War to World War II
    • Essays
    • Folklore: Tale, Song, Sermon
    • Poetry
    • Autobiography
  • World War I to World War II
    • The Harlem Renaissance
      • Poetry
      • Essays
    • The Novel
  • The 1940's to 1970
    • Poetry
    • Essays
  • 1970 to the present
    • Poetry
    • Drama
    • The Novel

Top of Page

Course Format

  • Is not self-paced.
  • Does not require on-campus meetings.
  • Does not require real-time chats.
  • The communication in the class will take place through Canvas mail and weekly response posted in the discussion board.

Top of Page


This course does not have a required face-to-face orientation. 

Course Requirements

  • Review the “What you should know before you register” section of the eLearning Homepage.
  • Midterm and final exams
  • Discussions
  • Journals
  • Paper

Top of Page

Texts and Materials

Textbook information:  To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow the instructions for selecting textbooks.

Technical Requirements and Plug-Ins:

Review the Technical Requirements link above. The following plug-ins are required for this course:

  • Acrobat Viewer
  • Flash
  • Internet Explorer
  • PowerPoint Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Word Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft Word

Top of Page


Exams for this course will be administered online.


If you have any questions or comments about this class, please send a message to

Last updated on 7 December 2012

Student Profile - Maribel