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The Spoken Word in African American Written Texts

This seminar and workshop begins with a foundation of the history and origins of the spoken word in African-American literature. Beginning with the study of the griot and continuing through hip hop, students analyze the elements of power and style in African American oral dialects, poetry, and spoken word performances. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to apply their knowledge of the spoken word literary techniques to their composing and writing of lyrics and other elements of the literary poetic tradition. Students will also participate in spoken word performances.