Approaches to Teaching the Works of Charles W. Chesnutt
Growing up in Cleveland after the Civil War and during the brutal rollback of Reconstruction and the onset of Jim Crow, Charles W. Chesnutt could have passed as white but chose to identify himself as black. An intellectual and activist involved with the NAACP who engaged in debate with Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois, he wrote fiction and essays that addressed issues as various as segregation, class among both blacks and whites, Southern nostalgia, and the Wilmington coup d'état of 1898. The portrayals of race, racial violence, and stereotyping in Chesnutt's works challenge teachers and students to contend with literature as both a social and an ethical practice.
In part 1 of this volume, "Materials," the editors survey the critical reception of Chesnutt's works in his lifetime and after, along with the biographical, critical, and archival texts available to teachers and students. The essays in part 2, "Approaches," address such topics in teaching Chesnutt as his use of dialect, the role of intertextuality and genre in his writing, irony, and his treatment of race, economics, and social justice.
About the Authors
Susanna Ashton is a Professor of English at Clemson University. She has held a teaching and research Fulbright fellowship in Ireland and in 2011 was awarded Clemson University's Provost Prize for Mentoring and Teaching with Creative Inquiry. She has authored and edited a number of books about American Literary Culture and African American writing, including "I Belong to South Carolina: South Carolina Slave Narratives (and with coeditor Rhondda R. Thomas), The South Carolina Roots of African American Thought both from the University of South Carolina Press. Her research has been published in College English, MELUS, Commonplace, Symploke, Biography, Studies in the Novel and others. Currently she is at work on A Plausible Man—a biography of fugitive slave, activist and author, John Andrew Jackson.
Bill Hardwig is an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the English Department at the University of Tennessee. He has won the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching and the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Advising awards. His research interests include local color literature, periodical culture, and regional writers, from Mary Murfree and Charles Chesnutt to Cormac McCarthy. His book Upon Provincialism: Southern Literature and National Periodical Culture, 1870-1900 was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2013. He has also published work on the reception and publishing history of Chesnutt's fiction, as well as the teaching of his literature.
"This collection goes a long way in engaging the depth and complexity of Chesnutt's oeuvre, and it focuses on the challenges and joys of teaching his work to a diverse undergraduate population."—Tess Chakkalakal, Bowdoin College
|The Modern Language Association of America, an imprint of Modern Language Association of America|
|Approaches to Teaching World Literature|
Other Titles by Susanna Ashton
Other Titles from Approaches to Teaching World Literature
Other Titles in LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Study & Teaching