African-American Literature I

Jan 2014

I adored this class. Professor Griffin is an amazing teacher, and the subject matter was very interesting. She is a great lecturer, and as long as you pay attention to her and attend class regularly there is no reason why you should not get an A. The TA, Valeria Tsygankova, was also extremely helpful, and was willing to extend an essay deadline that was due a day when I had three other papers due. I definitely recommend this class to fulfill a literature requirement; it's not too difficult and very interesting, and could be a good GPA boost if you play your cards right.

Dec 2010

Professor Griffin is a wonderful instructor. Not only is she incredibly articulate and engaging, but she is also readily available to meet with her students outside of class. Although this was a lecture class, Professor Griffin made an effort to include students in discussion. The readings were all very interesting and Professor Griffin's ability to break down texts made them even more enjoyable. Professor Griffin truly seems to care about enabling her students to succeed in the class. Not to mention the TA, Jarvis, was equally as helpful and approachable!

Dec 2001

Professor Blount certainly takes great interest in his students and the material he is teaching. He obviously puts significant effort into grading papers, his comments were detailed and extensive. However, I cannot ultimately recommend this class. Professor Blount's slow style of lecturing is annoying, but not intolerable. The endless literary jargon, however, ruined this class. This jargon seemed to fall into two categories: 1. the use of esoteric vocabulary to describe painfully obvious concepts (see all of "post-colonial theory") 2. the purely meaningless ("the poet appropriates africa as a female space and thus subverts the rhetoric of male dominance of motion") I cannot say that prof. Blount provided any real insight on the texts. His lectures consisted of biographical information on the authors, combined with almost meaningless jargon-laced discussions of literary theory. Furthermore, there seems to have been (on the part of Prof. Blount and many of the students who spoke in class) a real abdication of critical judgement; many of the works, particularly in the first part of the course, were simply bad, yet nobody seemed willing to point this out. Some of the texts in this class are worth reading, but do so on your own.

Apr 2001

The syllabus was great. Students had interesting things to say in class. But unfortunately, Blount's style of lecturing is unbearable. You can write down every word he says (and at times I did) with time to finish the spec crossword in class. It is really difficult to go because of this. I'd suggest the course with another instructor.

Jan 2000

I enjoyed this class. Prof. Blount is a thorough, conscientious and an extremely well read and articulate professor. Although other students comment on his slow-paced lecturing style, I felt that he exuded so much respect and passion for the books and the authors of them that he assigned. The class was very comprehensive, covering a century of black writing. The readings selected by Blount were absolutely wonderful and his willingness to work with you on fine tuning paper topics was consistent.