A little over seven months ago, I received word that I had been accepted as a Fulbright scholar a the University of Bergen in Norway. Today, that journey begins. As such, I want to take a moment to write about some of the things I look forward to experiencing while in Norway. This list is far from exhaustive. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know in the comments below.
When reading Frank Yerby’s work, I keep asking one question over and over again: “Why isn’t anyone teaching these texts?” I know that some scholars teach Yerby; however, compared to other authors, his appearance in the classroom is minuscule. I had heard the name, in passing, during my graduate work; however, I never saw him in any anthologies or read any of his books in any classes. I only found out about his voluminous production after I started purchasing copies of his books at local library book sales and used book stores. in 2011, Paine College, Frank Yerby’s alma mater, started a program where they had students read Yerby’s work, look at archival material, interview people who knew him, and present their work at a Yerby symposium. This serves as a start of what will hopefully be a Yerby revival. Today, I want to present a syllabus I have been thinking about that would focus on the life and work of Frank Garvin Yerby.
As part of my Fulbright application, I proposed two courses for my time at the University of Bergen. I have already posted one of these syallbi, “African American Literature and the American South.” This course will be an MA level course, and I am currently in the process of finalizing the readings. They have changed, some, since I initially posted the syllabus. When I complete the syllabus, I will post it again. Today, though, I want to share with you the other course I proposed for next year: “Introduction to Modernism: Modernism and Ernest J. Gaines.”