SYLLABI, OUTLINES, AND TEACHING NOTES FROM HUNTER COLLEGE
Audre Lorde Hunter College
ENG. 398.58-51 September, 1985
THE OTHER WOMAN:
Lesbian Voices in 20th Century Amer. Literature
BOOKLIST ( all books available at WOMAN BOOKS, 92nd St. & Amsterdam Avenue, NYC. )
Cruikshank, Margaret. LESBIAN STUDIES, PRESENT AND FUTURE. Feminist Pr.
Brant, Beth. MOHAWK TRAIL Firebrand Books. A Gathering of Spirit. Sinister Wisd.
Bulkin, Elly. LESBIAN POETRY
Klepfisz, Irena. KEEPER OF ACCOUNTS
MORAGA, Cherrie. LOVING IN THE WAR YEARS Lorde, Audre. ZAMI: A NEW SPELLING OF MY NAME Parker, Pat. JONESTOWN AND OTHER MADNESS
Rich, Adrienne. SOURCES
Tsui, Kitty. THE WORDS OF A WOMAN WHO BREATHES FIRE
Smith, Barbara. HOMEGIRLS, A BLACK FEMINIST ANTHOLOGY
TOWARD A BLACK FEMINIST CRITICISM
Grahn, Judy. A WOMAN IS TALKING TO DEATH
Cliff, Michelle. From the Land of Look Behind MacDonald, Barbara – Look Me In the Eye
Gayle, THE BLACK AESTHETIC
Cruikshank, Margaret. THE LESBIAN PATH Hull, Gloria. GIVE US EACH DAY
Cliff, Michelle. CLAIMING AN IDENTITY THEY TAUGHT ME TO DESPISE
Allen, Paula Gunn. THE WOMAN WHO OWNED THE SHADOWS SHADOW COUNTRY
RICH, Adrienne. ON LIES, SECRETS, AND SILENCE
Grahn, Judy. THE WORK OF A COMMON WOMAN THE HIGHEST APPLE
ANOTHER MOTHER TONGUE
Hull, Scott, & Smith BUT SOME OF US ARE BRAVE:
Black Women’s Studies
Lorde, Audre. SISTER OUTSIDER
Smith, Pratt, Bulkin. YOURS IN STRUGGLE: Racism & Antisemitism in the Women’s Movement
Thirteenth Moon, Vol VIII- The Working Class Experience Macdonald, Barbara. LOOK ME IN THE EYE
Sinclair, Jo. The Changelings Newsletter of ALOEC
And when they turned the bones on - a burst of light
Contexts of Contemporary Lesbian Feminist Writing
A. Questions to be considered What defines lesbian literature what does it have in common with other literatures of the outsider what differentiates lesbian literature how do lesbian differences of identity affect how we create and define lesbian literatures
Gayle, Addison. THE BLACK AESTHETIC. Introduction; ppi-19
Harris, Bertha. “What We Mean To Say: Notes Toward
Defining The Nature of Lesbian Literature” in Heresies, Fall, 1977.
Bulkin, Elly. LESBIAN FICTION. Introduction (A Look At Lesbian Short Fiction)
“Kissing Against The Light; A Look At Lesbian Poetry,” in Cruikshank, M. LESBIAN STUDIES, pp32-35
Smith, Barbara. TOWARD A BLACK FEMINIST CRITICISM
( pam. ) also in Hull, Scott,& Smith BUT SOME OF US ARE BRAVE, pp 157-176
Cook, Blanche Wiesen “Women Alone Stir My Imagination”, Lesbianism and the Cultural Tradition,” in Signs, Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 1979, Vol 4 no 4.
Smith-Rosenberg, Carroll. “ The Female World of Love and Ritual,”In Signs, Vol i, no i.
Cook, Blanche W. “Women Alone Stir My Imagination,” Signs, v 4, #4
Hull, Gloria. “Under the Days, The Buried Life and Poetry of Angelina Weld Grimke,” in Smith, Barbara
HOMEGIRLS, A Black Feminist Anthology. pp 73-83
“Research Alice Dunbar-Nelson, A Personal & Literary Perspective,” in Hull, Scott & Smith, BUT SOME OF US ARE BRAVE, pp189-196
Smith, Barbara “ Theft “ in LESBIAN POETRY
Grimke, Angelina Weld. “ A Mona Lisa,” & “At April,” in Stetson, Erlene.
BLACK SISTER, Poetry Black American Women. pp 60-61
Shockley, Ann. “ A Case of Telemania,” in Bulkin, LESBIAN FICTION pp138
Rule, Jane. “ In the Attic of the House”, Bulkin, ˝ ˝ p23
Hull, Gloria UNDER THE DAYS. NY, Norton, 1984
Shockley, Ann. THE BLACK AND WHITE OF IT (short stories)
LOVING HER (novel)
Brown, Rita Mae, RUBYFRUIT JUNGLE (novel) Hall, Rad., WELL OF LONELINESS (novel) Morgan, Claire. THE PRICE OF SALT (novel)
SEE ALSO- Bibliography, Cruikshank, LESBIAN STUDIES
Issues of Difference (Racism. Anti-Semitism, Ageism, Class)
LESBIANS OF COLOR REQUIRED READINGS
Bulkin, E. “Racism and Writing; Some Implications for
White Lesbian Critics,” in Sinister Wisdom #13
Gomez, Jewelle “ A Cultural Legacy Denied and Discovered: Black Lesbians in Fiction by Women” in HOMEGIRLS, pp110-124
Shockley, Ann. “ The Black Lesbian in American Literature ; An Overview”, in HOMEGIRLS, pp83-94
Cliff, Michelle. “ Obsolete Geography” in Land of Look Behind
Blackwomon, Julie. “ Revolutionary Blues” in LESBIAN POETRY p.132
Moraga, Cherrie. LOVING IN THE WAR YEARS— La Guera
LORDE, Audre ZAMI: A NEW SPELLING OF MY NAME
Parker, Pat. JONESTOWN AND OTHER MADNESS
Tsui, Kitty. THE WORDS OF A WOMAN WHO BREATHES FIRE
Allen, Paula Gunn. THE WOMAN WHO OWNED
THE SHADOWS (novel)
SHADOW COUNTRY (poetry)
Brant, Beth, editor. A GATHERING OF SPIRIT (anthology) Harjo, Joy. SHE HAD SOME HORSES (poetry)
Moraga, Cherrie, ed. THIS BRIDGE CALLED MY BACK
In LESBIAN FICTION
Carrillo, Jo, “ Maria Littlebear” Noda, Barbara. “ Thanksgiving Day” Blackwomon, Julie. “ Kippy” —do
Flying Clouds “ Another Place to Begin” Rodriquez, Aleida “ Sequences”
Jamal, Sauda “ A Mother That Loves You”
Tsui, Kitty “ Poa Poa Is Living Breathing Light”—do Newsletter of ASIAN LESBIANS OF THE EAST COAST
Cliff, Michelle. ABENG (novel)
Beck, Evelyn. “Teaching about Jewish Lesbians in Literature,” in Cruikshank, LESBIAN STUDIES
Kaye, Melanie. “Notes of an Immigrant Daughter; Atlanta” in Beck, Evelyn, ed. NICE JEWISH GIRLS, An Anthology. pp109
Klepfisz, Irena. KEEPER OF ACCOUNTS –read Basert “Journal of Rachel Robotnik” in LESBIAN FICTION
Rich, Adrienne. SOURCES
Bulkin, Pratt, & Smith. YOURS IN STRUGGLE: Racism & Anti-Semitism in the Women’s Movement
WORKING CLASS LESBIANS REQUIRED READINGS
Work Sonnets – Klepfisz—with notes & a monologue Allison, Dorothy, “I’m Working on My Charm” in
Allison, Dorothy, “A River of Names” in LESBIAN
FICTION “My Career As A Thief” in Conditions Mag. # 9
Thirteenth Moon Magazine, Col, Vii—Working Class Experience?
ON BEING OLD AND AGE. Sinister Wisdom issue #10
Arnold, June. SISTER GIN
Macdonald, Barbara. LOOK ME IN THE EYE
Proposal for Faculty Seminar at Hunter on Race
This is around the N.B. (North Building) a saying I have to live with— but we are all on the side of truth. It is not enough to be on the side of truth. Unless we use ourselves in the service of that truth, make those things we believe real within our living, then they are meaningless in our lives. I am a Black Woman of intelligence and sensitivity—a poet doing my work, and today a piece of that work is to share with each one of you some of the pain and wastefulness of racism here at Hunter. I have been named TH Professor, an honor of which I am proud. It is an ironic honor, for I am one of those women that TH considered uneducable. He believed only those fair of skin could learn well, and he writes of one Black woman who took 8 years to complete college—his own words—he says she has “The Negro face in all its barbaric deformity, flat nose, thick lips, retreating chin.” I know what TH thought about me. Resisting such hatred in a classroom takes an enormous amount of energy. I attended Hunter High School across the street in the 1940’s, and I was taught by white women who had studied under TH. I learned a lot from some of those women, but their presumption of my inferiority left vivid scars across my young womanhood.
It took me 10 years to complete Hunter College. Not because of my Black face, but because I worked at night to support myself. Psychology class my lab partner was white and she also worked full time. We were late with a lab report once and told our professor about the difficulty each of us was having with schedules. She told us to come see her and she thought she could help us about work. This professor was head of the department, and there were student lab asst. jobs available so we were quite hopeful. When we saw her, she made Marcia a lab asst, and offered me a job in her house as a live-in maid.
But of course that is history, and the essence of progress is change.
Today, the student body at Hunter is now of 54% people of color and [left blank] female. But some things have not changed. There are racial attitudes still flourishing in some of our classrooms that rival any of my experiences.
Racism at Hunter Today
is a professor saying to a student, in public, “What are you doing here? You know you people can’t write.”
is a professor writing a proposal for a Women’s Studies Program at the Univ. of Ciskei without even knowing that the Ciskei is a Bantustan created by South Africa, one giant death-camp where women sit for days by the side of the road, with dying children in their arms, waiting for the weekly water truck from Pretoria.
is a pre-med student from the Caribbean being told that medical school requires sustained concentration, so perhaps she should become a lab technician instead.
is taking a course on the American Revolution and never learning that the 1st person to die in the Boston Massacre was a black man, Crispus Attucks. Without learning that 2 of the great heroes of that war and of Bunker Hill were Black members of the Green Mountain Boys name[d] Peter Salem & Salem Poor. These facts do not only belong in a course on Black History—they belong in a course on the American Revolution— part of the history of America.
is a science professor explaining to a whole class of predominantly Black and Latino students—how they are of inferior intelligence compared to students at Harvard and therefore he is not going to be bothered to teach them certain fundamentals of the subject, since it would be a waste of his time.
These are only a few random examples of racism at Hunter today in and out of the classroom. It is not enough to believe we are on the side of truth.
Racism at Hunter will change when we begin to recognize that race, and distortions around race, are realities in American consciousness and when we as educators, dare to examine the ways in which these distortions affect our teaching, and imprint themselves upon our students. It is not enough to believe we are on the side of right.
I propose a series of faculty seminars on racial awareness and a race- conscious curriculum that will begin to explore some of these issues, and I urge the Faculty Delegate Assembly to support such a proposal and to examine some of these questions before they detonate in our faces.
Dream Journal (1975)
Dream- a classroom- am I the teacher or a student? I have not attended enough – either lost or late. Exam approaching- how can it be a class – how can I study or teach – I haven’t attended enough.
Doom must come but will it?
There aren’t many people in the class when I go – but they don’t seem disturbed by the irregularity. Sometimes the room is empty + I think the class is meeting somewhere else.
 Distinguished Thomas Hunter Chair.