ENG2333 Jazz and African American Literature

ENG2333 Jazz and African American Literature


Institutt for litteratur, områdestudier og europeiske språk



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ENG2333–Jazz and African American Literature

10.15 – 12.00 2 May

You are allowed to use an English–English dictionary and your A7 notecard.

Thequestionsmust be answered in English.

The answers must be written on copy-sheets.

  1. Short answer questions. Choose TEN (10) of the following eleven questions. Respond to them as completely as possible, using no more than 3 sentences to answer. Some questions will only require a word or phrase for an answer; others will require 2-3 sentences to answer.

1. According to Angela Davis, what is the main political goal of Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”?

2. What specific kinds of imagery does Langston Hughes use in “Jazzonia”?

3. What year was Ellison’s Invisible Man first published?

4. What does the narrator of Invisible Man eat on the streets of New York city, and why is this important?

5. Describe the way Sonia Sanchez represents violence in “a/coltrane/poem”:

6. Name a Billie Holiday song besides “Strange Fruit”:

7. Describe the positive elements of “An Agony.As Now” (Amiri Baraka)

8. How are Joe Trace and Golden Gray connected?

9. Name the musician that Sonny admires, and tell me why he might admire him:

10. Why does Albert Murray think the break is important?

11. What prompts the narrator of “Sonny’s Blues” to write a letter to his Sonny?

II. A or B: Choose ONE of the following two sections to respond to. Do either A. (Medium length questions) or B. (Essay on the connection between jazz and literature). Do not do both.

II. AMedium length questions.

Choose FIVE (5) of the following six questions to answer.

You should answer them as completely as possible in 4-6 sentences. The best answer will show your understanding of the texts and ideas in question, and of their importance.

These questions require you to show your command of some of the larger ideas at work in the texts we have read and the music we have listened to.

  1. Describe the important (stylistic and thematic) differences between three different Sonia Sanchez poems:

2. What is the “aesthetic dimension” and how is it related to Billie Holiday’s music?

3. How is Louis Armstrong significant for Ellison or for his narrator?

4. What does the narrator hear in Sonny’s music at the bar?

5. How is Morrison’s novel like the drumming that Alice Manfred and Dorcas listen to in 1917?

6. What is the relationship between John Coltrane’s music and Amiri Baraka’s poetry?


What is the significance of the connection between jazz music and African American literature?

Write a 4-6 paragraph essay that answers this question. Your essay should have a clear, well-defined thesis, and it should use specific examples to support and develop this thesis. Use your essay to show me that you have been thinking about the course material and that you have a strong sense of why the connection between jazz and African American literature is important….for our authors, for American literature, for African American literature or culture, or for us… Your essay should make specific references to at least two of the authors and one of the recordings from our syllabus.

+ Extra credit: (optional)

  1. How many instruments are there in Louis Armstrong’s recording of “Hotter than That”?
  1. What is “beneath” the eyes of the trumpet player in Langston Hughes’ poem?
  1. Who was president (of the U.S.) when Jimmy Rushing recorded “Boogie Woogie” with the Count Basie band?

The grades will be published in Studentwebwithin 3 weeks after the due date for the paper.

For an explanation of the grade obtained, please contact the teacher responsible for the coursewithin one week after the exam resultshave been published.Remember to include your name and candidate number. The examiner will then decide whether to give a written or oral explanation.

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