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COMP 244
Black Mediterranean Spring 2021
Division I Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed GBST 244 / COMP 244

Class Details

Though European border management today seeks to limit and control movement, the Mediterranean region is a historical site of mediation between cultural differences and religious views. This course centers primarily on the works of migrant intellectuals and artists from North Africa and the Middle East, who have emerged from the Mediterranean region to become a significant part of the new voice of Europe. Borrowing from Deleuze and Guattari’s definition of “minor literature” as literature that a “minority constructs within a major language” and in which “language is affected with a high coefficient of deterritorialization,” we explore the political, cultural and anthropological effects of such literature in today’s European public discourse. Today the Mediterranean has become a graveyard where black and brown bodies transit a hostile and deadly passage. Therefore, a centerpiece of this course will be an examination of the racist discourse in Europe in the light of the Black Lives Matter’s quest for decolonizing knowledge. In this interdisciplinary course, we read both literary works (Ali Farah, Khatibi, Lakhous, Scego), and critical theory (Cassano, Chambers, Fanon, Hall, Theo Goldberg); we also analyze films, documentaries, podcasts, exhibits and museums of colonialism in Europe.
The Class: Format: seminar; This will be an hybrid course. Students will meet twice a week with me.
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 5625
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly writing assignments, midterm and final exams, final paper, oral presentation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Comparative Literature majors
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GBST 244 Division II COMP 244 Division I
WS Notes: This course is designed to be writing-intensive, as it requires weekly response papers, midterm, and final papers, and blog discussions.
DPE Notes: Within the theoretical framework of postcolonial studies, this course examines themes such as: race; Europe and its postcolonial legacy; power imbalances in the current European policies of migration; the urban space of Rome as site of conflictual representations of center/periphery.

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