Introduction to Black Print Culture

Current Faculty: Gabrielle Dudley

Description: This week-long course offers an introduction to Black print culture – the world of printed material written by and for, and often published within, African American communities. The course will consider the authorship, consumption, and dissemination African American books (and print culture) from Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious, and Moral to the flourishing of Black publishing during the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s and expanding to the “Terry McMillian effect” of the 1990s. Attention will be paid not only to books, but also to pamphlets, broadsides, flyers, bookplates, bookmarks, scrapbooks, quilts, photographs, sheet music, funeral programs, liner notes, church fans, lobby cards, posters, buttons, and other print ephemera. A portion of the course will be dedicated to discussions about collecting and increasing access to said material through special collections libraries and archives. Students will complete a short research project and field trips to area libraries and cultural centers will be included.

Requirements: This course is intended for those with little or no formal training in the history of Black print culture. Librarians, archivists, and graduate students are encouraged to take the course. Participants are asked to bring a laptop for use in a course project.

Years taught: 2019

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