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Jazz and Literature

COURSES

Instructor
Term
  • Autumn
Subject Code
COMPLIT
Course Number
216
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Jazz and Literature

This course explores the special connection between jazz and literature. In texts that range from American novels to the poetry of African independence movements, jazz emerges at once as a structuring principle (as in Toni Morrison's Jazz and James Baldwin's The Amen Corner) and a unifying theme (for example, Noémia de Sousa's "A Billie Holiday, Cantora"). It is also part of a larger philosophical discussion on rhythm that connects to deep questions of selfhood, ethics, democracy, listening, and vital force. If you love jazz and want to dig deeper into its possibilities or want to find new ways to express literature's power, this class provides the venue. The rest is, as Sonny Rollins put it, "creation and surprise."