I, Too, Am America: The Literature of the Harlem Renaissance


Course Description

This course will focus on selected works of Afro-American literature published during the 1920s and early 1930s in America, an era in which there was an unparalleled artistic and socio-cultural awakening in the Black community. During these years Harlem in particular was the seedbed of an unprecedented dynamism in music, dance, painting, sculpture, and in literature as well. Fascination with the Afro-American renaissance in the arts spilled into the wider world outside Harlem, creating a strong demand for access to the work of these artists. In the case of literature, publishers of periodicals and books showcased Afro-American literature. 

Historically, Black writers had felt diminished and insulted by social conditions and prescriptive notions of Afro-American writing. The authors of the Harlem Renaissance boldly overturned literary traditions in which Black people were portrayed stereotypically, in the process forging a literature distinctive to their unique identities and struggles. All of this, in turn, served as a remarkable stimulus to creativity. 

Among the questions this course will address are: Do these works, which are close to a century old, address present-day concerns (racial or otherwise) or are these writings only interesting as literary artifacts? How diverse is this literature? Are there common settings, subjects, themes, styles? Do these works differ from mainstream works of American literature of the 20s and 30s? If so, how so? Do the various genres represented here (poetry, prose, fiction) have similar settings, subjects, themes? Is W. E. B. Du Bois’s concept of “double-consciousness” evident in these works?

Books to Purchase (will be available at Argo Bookshop during the weeks prior to the course beginning):

      • Cane, Jean Toomer
      • Not Without Laughter, Langston Hughes
      • Passing, Nella Larsen
      • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 14 students.

NEW PAYMENT POLICY: Participants must pay the course fees in order to be considered registered for the course. 

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note that we do not allow participants to audit courses for free.

Course Details

Location: Zoom

First Session: Wednesday 18 January 2023

Course Length: 12 weeks, Wednesdays, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. (six weeks will take place in the Winter Demi-Term (18 January to 22 February) followed by six weeks in the Spring Term (15 March to 19 April)).

Discussion Team: Zsolt Alapi, Anne Fitzpatrick, Michael Tritt

Degree Credit: 1.5 credits

Course Fee: 

$150.00 (standard tuition)

$100.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$185.00 (standard tuition)

$135.00 (promotion for new students)


For 12-week courses, fees are refundable in full before the second session. If the participant withdraws after the second course, they will be charged a $50 fee. There is no refund after the third course has passed. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

Fill the following form to register

Questions? Stuck? Give us a call at (514) 935-9585
or email us at info@thomasmore.qc.ca