(Neo-)Slave Narratives



Time and place

  • Wed 16:15-17:45, Room KH 0.015 (exclude vac) ICS
  • single appointment on 25.05.2022 16:15-17:45, Room KH 2.012 (exclude vac) ICS

Das Seminar gehört in folgenden Studiengängen jeweils zu folgenden Modulen:

  • MA North American Studies: Culture and Literature (5) Aufbaumodul Literary Studies (8) Vertiefungsmodul Literary Studies
  • MA The Americas/Las Américas: 3b, 4
  • BA English and American Studies: Hauptmodul A (für BA-Studierende ist eine Independent Study Group angeschlossen)
  • Lehramt Englisch an Gymnasien: Hauptmodul L-GYM Literature


The long-term effects of enslavement continue to shape U.S. society and race relations until today – especially with regard to structural racism and the normative weight of whiteness. In this course, we will examine 19th-century slave narratives before turning to selected works from the late 20th and 21st century that can be categorized as neo-slave narratives. We will analyze how these texts deal with the experience of bondage and the possibilities of freedom as they revisit and revise the history of enslavement and critically interrogate its lasting impact. Our readings of novels by Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead, and Robert Jones, Jr., will pay attention to the dynamics of racialization as well as to questions of gender, sexuality, class, and national identity. Furthermore, we will trace the different literary forms and genres that have influenced contemporary narratives of enslavement (e.g. historical novel, magical realism, fantasy).

Additional information

Expected participants: 20