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Topics in History: The Harlem Renaissance

Image of iconic Harlem Renaissance painting "Blues" by Archibald J. Motley Jr., 1929
Archibald J. Motley Jr., Blues, 1929. Oil on canvas, 36 x 42 inches (91.4 x 106.7 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

This upper-year seminar in U.S. history explores the interwar years with a focus on the Harlem Renaissance. As a movement of arts and letters Harlem Renaissance was a dynamic force in forging the modern, racialized identity of African Americans as prideful “New Negroes”. This course studies how artists, writers, poets, and other cultural producers shaped much of the popular representation of “New Negro” people as an urban, modern, and progressive citizenry. Employing an interdisciplinary lens, this course studies the Harlem Renaissance as an artistic movement and a historical phenomenon. Students read scholarly works on the movement, and engage with literary and creative texts from the period. Students will encounter a diverse range of voices, perspectives, and expressions to understand the movement as that of many.

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.