American Artists and the African American Book

The visual art, decoration, and illustration of African American books (prose and poetry) since 1900. Topics include book art of the Harlem Renaissance (with special attention to Aaron Douglas and Charles Cullen), art imported to book production (e.g., Archibald Motley’s paintings used as book art), children’s books (e.g., I Saw Your Face by Kwame Dawes with drawings by Tom Feelings; Ntozake Shange’s Ellington Was Not a Street, illus. by Kadir Nelson), photography and literature (e.g., Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Cabin and Field, with Hampton Institute photographs; Richard Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices). The seminar includes sessions at Beinecke Library and encourages research projects in the Beinecke’s holdings, especially the James Weldon Johnson collection.
Taught by Robert Stepto Spring 2015
Course Number: 
AFAM 743, AMST 654, ENGL 845