Fast forward by more than a century (and back by a few years from now)–to the third year of Barack Obama’s presidency–and we see that a book titled The Persistence of the Color Line was published. As its title suggests, it examined the extension of the problem of the twentieth century into the twenty-first.
The persistence of this problem is registered all the more by recent events in Ferguson, New York City, Madison, and here in Chicago.
This course focuses on literature’s place in establishing, reinforcing, and challenging the color line in the United States. As we make our way through texts and time, we will also consider related lines that divide and connect between race and class, race and gender, high and low culture, suppression and resistance, and anger and violence.
By Brianna Low
Prof. Marcy Dinius is a new addition to the English faculty this year. Prof. Dinius specializes in Pre-Civil War American literature and culture, African-American literature, and the history of print culture.
Originally from southern California, Prof. Dinius moved to the Midwest where she completed her undergraduate degree in English at the University of Notre Dame. Dinius went on receive her PhD from Northwestern University in 2003. Before arriving at DePaul, she taught at the University of Delaware for five years.
Dinius’ first book, The Camera and the Press: American Visual and Print Culture in the Age of the Daguerreotype, is forthcoming in spring 2012 and focuses on the invention of photography and its effects on American literature and vice-versa.
In discussing what initially motivated her academic interests, Prof. Dinius mentions reading authors like Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, and Ralph Waldo Emerson as a high school and undergraduate student. She maintains that she was impacted by the realization that the issues these authors were discussing–issues such as class, race, gender, and the environment–are just as relevant now as they were when these authors were producing their works.
When she isn’t teaching, Dinius enjoys watching the HBO television series The Wire, but she’s afraid she may end up writing an article about it. And, while it isn’t her favorite, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a book Prof. Dinius consistently comes back to, finding something new with every reread.
Be sure to wish Prof. Dinius luck as she heads out on research leave to complete a fellowship for her next book project at the Library Company of Philadelphia from January-May 2012.