The following are a sampling of the courses taught by Dr. Jervette R. Ward.

Selected Topics in Language and Literature
Food and Identity in Literature

Mississippi State University

Graduate and Undergraduate Course

Through food and literature, we are able to learn about our own identities and cultures, and we are able to explore the identities and cultures of those not like ourselves. Food may be considered a necessity, and literature may be considered a luxury; however, the combination of the two can be viewed as a worthy indulgence. This course looks at the role of food in literature, and explores the ways in which the two have influenced each other. In addition, we consider the ways that culture and identity have been shaped by food in narrative works.

Texts of American Cultures and Regions
The Black Literary Diaspora: From Africa to Europe to the Americas

University of Alaska Anchorage

Undergraduate Course

The Black American literary experience is connected to the larger Black literary diaspora. This course looks at the vastness of the Black diaspora and connects the African, European, and American Black literary experience via historical and theoretical lenses. In particular, we will focus on the Black American Expat experience. Course texts include Physics of Blackness: Beyond the Middle Passage Epistemology, Black Europe and the African Diaspora, 12 Million Black Voices, Things Fall Apart, Blackgammon, Giovanni’s Room, Americanah, and Quicksand.

Studies in Texts and Cultures
A Southern Way of Sayin': Literature of the American South 
or The South Got Something to Say

University of Alaska Anchorage

Graduate Course

The South is a mystical place, yet a real place. It is beautiful, yet ugly. It is warm, yet frigid. The South is a land of contradictions. It is a land of sweet tea and magnolias, yet it is also a land of Strange Fruit. It is Grit and Grind, and it’s Southern Hospitality. I want to introduce you to a complicated and fascinating place via literature and art. I love my South deeply, yet I am not blind to its faults. The Dirty South – my home.


This course is a theoretical and critical study of literature of the American South in terms of race, social class, gender, region, and language. Studied authors may include Richard Wright, Alice Walker, Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, and Zora Neale Hurston.

Topics in Women's Literature
Women's Lives in Film and Fiction

University of Alaska Anchorage

Undergraduate Course

This course studies works of literature written by women and discusses film adaptations of the literature. We consider how each film represents a director’s interpretation of the work rather than simply a visual version of it. The course explores the multicultural aspects of the female experience by looking at African American, Asian, Hispanic, British, and Southern American literature. Both the “classics” of women’s literature and the modern-day concept of “chick-lit” are explored.

Narrative Nonfiction
"Herstory: Writing Themselves Into Existence"

University of Alaska Anchorage

Undergraduate Course

The Black female literary voice was long considered silent, but if one listens, there are voices straining to be heard. Harriet Jacobs, Elizabeth Keckley, Ida B. Wells, Zora Neale Hurston, and Anne Moody narrate their own history and create a series of “herstories” that build upon each other. In this course, we will begin by exploring how these five women “write themselves into existence” and give voice to the oft-silenced Black female. The study of their autobiographical works provides a unique approach to the genre of narrative nonfiction, which is enhanced by the use of Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination as a theoretical framework.

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© 2020 by JERVETTE R. WARD