How did Twain’s Huckleberry Finn engage and challenge popular ideas about slavery and race in nineteenth-century America? Can a text be offensive and still be worth reading?
What arguments did eighteenth-century writers make about the slave trade? How are these arguments based in understandings of African civilization? How does Olaudah Equiano contribute to these debates?
What is the context for Shakespeare’s Roman plays? What were his sources? Why did classical Rome capture the interest of people in Renaissance England?
How does Behn’s novel Oroonoko compare to other representations of race, slavery, and colonialism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries?
What is the historical and literary context for Shakespeare’s representation of Prospero’s island and its inhabitants? How did Renaissance writers and artists portray the European exploration of the Americas? How did that exploration inspire their visions of an ideal society?