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What do these texts have to say about the relationship between the history of racial slavery and its afterlives, including our own present moment (or the ‘present’ of the text—when it was written/published)?

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Write an essay in which you describe the genre of the “neo-slave narrative” (using lectures, quotation, outside reading/research) and analyze its relevance for interpreting 1-2 texts that you think fit the genre (Morrison’s Beloved and/or Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad). How do these texts engage with the history of racial slavery and its representations? What do these texts have to say about the relationship between the history of racial slavery and its afterlives, including our own present moment (or the ‘present’ of the text—when it was written/published)? How do the texts use or alter conventions of the traditional ‘slave narrative,’ and for what purpose(s)? With what successes or limitations? Make sure to take historical contexts into account when analyzing the texts, even if your argument focuses primarily on literary and/or social issues.
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Evaluation:
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In order of importance, I will be looking evaluating your essay according to how well it:
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a) Demonstrates a complex critical engagement with assigned texts, including their treatment of social issues and their aesthetic elements
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b) Demonstrates a complex critical engagement with course themes and concepts (e.g., hoodoo, conjure, haunting)
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c) Presents a clear thesis with social, political, or literary significance
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d) Argues for that thesis convincingly by providing appropriate explanation, textual evidence (summary, quotation, contextualization), and evaluation
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e) Considers social and historical context in discussion of the literary text

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