Haitian Literature

The literary criticism essay is your final assessment for Haitian Literature. The
purpose of this assignment is for you to develop a literary critique of a text from the syllabus, basing your
analysis upon an understanding of a discourse (topic) that spans the selected text. The literary criticism
essay counts for 25% of your grade. The final essay is due on Friday, May 7.
In this assignment you will:
1. Critically re-read one text from the syllabus
2. Read at least four secondary texts that are related to the primary literary text
3. Develop an original thesis on the primary literary text, author, and corresponding discourse(s)
that is based in your research and analysis of all of texts you have consulted (see next page
for sample topics)
4. Write an 7-8 page literary criticism paper, (this includes your Works Cited page) on the
primary literary text, which is anchored in your thesis and incorporates your research (see
Your literary criticism essay must meet the following criteria:
1. 12 pt. Times New Roman font, double-spaced (double space cited passages also)
2. Essay length: 7-8 pages (this includes Works Cited page)
3. Formatted using MLA or APA style
4. Analysis is based on 1-2 primary literary texts from the syllabus
5. 4 secondary sources at a minimum. These sources must be clearly cited in your essay
6. You should conduct a close, textual analysis of the primary literary texts in the body of your essay,
frequently citing passages and analyzing them in accordance with your thesis
7. Optional drafts will be accepted until April 30. Final essay is due on Friday, May 7


You may choose to research and write about any topic, subject or theme pertinent to the texts,
writers, and discourses (topics) that have been discussed so far this semester, or which will be
discussed in coming weeks. Below is a partial list of topics you may wish to consider:

You must analyze one to three texts from the syllabus. If you choose more than one, you should try
to find texts that can be compared in terms of the discourses they engage (see discourse
keywords). Possible topics include:
Patriotic discourses in early Haitian literature (Bergeaud, Faubert, Morriseau-Leroy)
Folklore and the oral tradition in Haitian literature
Vodou, marvelous realism and discourses of spirituality in Haitian literature and culture (Rene
Depestre; Jean-Price Mars)
Negritude and indigenism in early twentieth century literature (Jacuqes Roumain)

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