Narratives of Black Girlhood

Spring 2022
Spring 2021
Julia Tigner
ENGL 1102

This course will introduce students to varied narratives of Black girlhood through a series of novels, short stories, essays, and other literary texts. Particularly in Black women’s writing, students will explore the ways these writers depict Black girlhood and examine the rhetorical choices these writers make in addressing issues of gender, race, class, and other variables that influence identity formation. Moreover, students will consider how Black women writers compose distinctively authentic and affirmative narratives that seek to debunk mythologies of Black girlhood and (re)center Black girls’ voices. By studying the lived experiences of Black girls through the lens of Black women writers, students will also engage the ways these writers make moments for readers to feel connected to Black girls’ humanity by underscoring “universal” themes about childhood, such as belonging, family, friendship, love, and loss. Within our ongoing discussion, students will revisit some key questions throughout the semester: How do Black girls live at the intersection of race, class, and gender? How do Black girls contend with being overpoliced and under protected? What role does literature (especially authentic and affirmative narratives) play in subverting the master narrative (mainstream interpretations of Black girls’ experiences) and (re) center Black girls’ voices? In this class, we will engage texts such as Brown Girl Dreaming by Mildred D. Taylor and My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi

Course type: 
Course Level: 
Partner Engagement: 
Core Curriculum Requirements: