Honoring Black Girlhood in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye and Sula

In this seminar, we'll explore Toni Morrison's commitment to providing rich, complex subjectivities for black girls in her novels The Bluest Eye and Sula. We'll approach issues of black girlhood intersectionality, thinking about the connections of gender, race, sexuality, class, education and mobility. We'll also look at some historical contexts to think about Morrison's characters in light of past and contemporary social inequities that shape black girls’ lives, including sexual violence, education, popular standards of beauty and incarceration. Class readings will target specific chapters in each text and thorough reading of both novels before class is encouraged.