Thesis for the Course

Historically, African American poems, stories, novels, nonfiction and other media constitute a literature of resistance and oppression against wealthy white male American culture. To this day, African American texts continue to represent and respond to the GREAT AMAERICAN PARADOX: America was founded upon the notion of freedom (from English rule) while practicing slavery. Bear this thesis in mind as you read and write about the five texts we will study in English 2050, noting how each author addresses the issue of resistance and oppression vis-à-vis the African American experience.


Welcome to English 2050: African American Literature. This course will study four classic books written by major African American authors: Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Richard Wright's Native Son and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.

Here is a syllabus. You are responsible for the information therein, so please read it over carefully and print out a hardcopy.

In this online course, you will be responsible for completing multiple reading and writing assignments within the context of four modules (one per book). While strict deadlines will be upheld for assignments, you are encouraged to work at your own pace. Be sure to read the modules slowly, carefully, and repeatedly; they contain all core information and are designed to provide you with what you need to know while guiding you from the beginning to the end of the course as smoothly and clearly as possible. Please bear in mind that the workload for this summer term is compressed into a shorter amount of time.

This course is run by way of my own website in conjunction with Wright State University's distance learning program Pilot. The index page will operate as your primary resource for the course. You may access this page via or via Pilot.

You can email me with questions via Pilot and I always answer within 24 hours, usually sooner, on the condition that your emails are written in complete sentences and free of mechanical errors. This is a college writing course, so make sure your queries are polished and professional and I will promptly address your concerns. Even better than email: visit me in my office to discuss matters in person. I want to see everybody excel and I’m here as a resource, but too frequently, students in my online courses don’t contact me when they encounter difficulties. Students who do make an effort to connect with me, however, invariably get better grades.

Identification responses and summaries should be submitted to me via Pilot on their respective due dates and times. Go to the Dropbox (beneath the ASSESSMENT tab) and upload your work as .doc, .docx, .rtf or .pdf files. Discussion postings, on the other hand, should be posted directly onto the appropriate forum in Discussions (beneath the COMMUNICATION tab). You are encouraged to respond to your peers on this forum.

You are responsible for monitoring your uploads and postings. Assignments submitted after the due date has elapsed (whether it be one day, ten days, or one minute) will not be accepted. Assignments are due every Friday at 9 a.m. with the exception of the final week when they are due Thursday at 9 a.m. Both the modules and Pilot provide you with all due dates from the beginning to the end of the course, so you are responsible for organizing and managing your time accordingly. Never wait until the last minute to submit work in case of computer glitches, power outages, etc. Always provide yourself with enough time to upload and post your work.

Writing assignmens in the form of short essays and summaries should be formatted according to MLA style.

Grades are based upon a simple point system tallied throughout the quarter by Pilot. Identification responses and summaries are worth 100 points; discussion postings are worth 50 points. I will provide feedback on your work via Pilot.

FINAL NOTE: Under no circumstances should parents or guardians of students contact me with questions or concerns regarding a student's performance, grades, or the course itself. Such matters are confidential and protected by university policy. Parents and guardians need to contact the Wright State University administration with questions or concerns. Students, however, should feel free to contact me at any time.

The Student Success Center offers FREE services to help students meet their full potential. Students can find tutoring in any subject, study buddies, one-on-one technology workshops, feedback on writing assignments, and general academic skills coaching.

Location: 182 Andrews
Phone: 419.586.0326

Students who use the Student Success Center for help on their writing assignments will be given 10 extra credit points for each visit. To make an appointment, go to the website.