Black women have shaped U.S. American literature from its early inception to the present day. This seminar focuses on the antebellum period (1812-1865) to explore the complexity and wealth of black female authorship with a focus on the work of Jarena Lee, Hannah Crafts, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Harriet Wilson, Harriet Jacobs, and more. Given the range of literary texts produced by these authors, we will look at a variety of literary genres such as life writing, slave narratives, sentimental fiction, temperance fiction, and spiritual writings. Throughout the semester, we will furthermore look at the historical context to understand black female authorship in its time. Eventually, this seminar hopes to provide insightful perspectives into the richness of black female authorship in antebellum America.