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ENRICH-0037 – Lit: The Underground Railroad Reimagined (ENRICH-0037_UGRR)

The Underground Railroad: A Journey Reimagined

A New York Times review describes Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad as possessing “the chilling, matter-of-fact power of the slave narratives collected by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s, with echoes of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and with brush strokes borrowed from Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka and Jonathan Swift.” Led by English Professor Barbara Wilcots, examine the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, a fusion of historical fiction and magical realism, that demonstrates, as William Faulkner noted, that "The past is never dead. It's not even past." The novel chronicles the escape of 15-year-old Cora who takes a literal train ride from slavery in Georgia through time and space toward freedom. Discuss the book in relation to its literary precursors above, as well as Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. Does Whitehead’s bold and often blunt storytelling, interweaved with historical truths, offer a better understanding of the actual horrors and human costs of slavery? If so, how? Also consider ways in which the novel speaks to contemporary race relations. While it may not be an easy read, The Underground Railroad is an important one. Midway through the course, gather more insight from the author himself at his Denver Post Pen & Podium series lecture. Come away with a deeper understanding of not only our country’s disturbing past but also its unsettling present, and maybe a small glimmer of hope for the future.

Five sessions
Mon., 6:30-8:30 pm, Sept. 11, 18, Oct. 2, 9, 2017
Whitehead P&P lecture, Mon., 7:30 pm, Sept. 25
Location: Room 186, Sturm Hall, DU campus

Barbara J. Wilcots, vice president for Student Affairs at Regis University since July 2017, was a faculty member in the Department of English at DU for 22 years and served as associate provost for Graduate Studies for the past eight years.
Course Details
Location: University ParkMode of Study: In-personPlaces Left: 11Waitlist Places Left: 10Fee: $195


Days of the WeekStart DateEnd DateTimeVenueInstructor
Monday11th September 201718th September 201706:30PM - 08:30PMSturm HallBarbara Wilcots
Monday25th September 201725th September 201707:30PM - 09:30PMNewman Performing Arts CenterN/A
Monday2nd October 20179th October 201706:30PM - 08:30PMSturm HallBarbara Wilcots