HUMS 370, Fictions of the Harlem Vogue: Novels, Short Stories, and Novellas of the “Harlem Renaissance”

Meeting Time: 
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

Course Description: 

In this seminar, we examine the major novels, short stories, and novellas of the Harlem Vogue (1923-1934), the first decade of the Negro Renaissance. Key texts by Jessie Fauset, Nella Larsen, Jean Toomer, and Eric Walrond are central, along with lesser-known works by Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. We consider critical debates about these texts and their standard designation as part of the “Harlem Renaissance.” Careful close reading is emphasized throughout; students are guided through a process of archival research and sustained formal analysis to produce a polished critical essay.

Led by:

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Professor Ernest Mitchell

Ernest Julius Mitchell is a scholar of the Black Renaissance; he studies the literary, religious, and theoretical aspects of modernist writing.

His first book (under contract with Yale University Press) is a biography of the left-wing Jamaican writer Claude McKay. He is also completing a centenary edition of Jean Toomer’s Cane (under contract with Norton Library). A third project is an academic monograph on the fictional and ethnographic works of Zora Neale Hurston, read through the lens of her novel Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939).

Beyond his projects in literary history, he also writes on aesthetics at the nexus of black diaspora thought and continental philosophy.