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Jeffrey Einboden
Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL 60115-2828)
Arabic Slave Writings and the American Canon

Exploring the literary foundations of early America, NIU's ENGL 331 "American Literature 1830-1860" has traditionally surveyed the nation's most iconic texts, from Ralph Waldo Emerson's Nature to Herman Melville's Moby Dick, to Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Consistent with NEH's Bridging Cultures initiative, I propose to revise and expand the curriculum for this core course, introducing NIU undergraduates to the cross-cultural and multi-lingual texture of America's first decades. Specifically, I aim to integrate into ENGL 331 my own research concerning a pivotal, yet largely unrecognized, element of U.S. literary history: personal writings by African slaves of Muslim descent, composed during their captivity in America, authored in Arabic.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
American Literature

Teaching Development Fellowships

Research Programs

$21,000 (approved)
$21,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2011 – 11/30/2011