Rumble in the Jungle: Major Postcolonial Writers and Movements
Division I; Exploring Diversity Initiative; Writing-Intensive;
This is not the current course catalog
The antagonism between the “West and the rest” has been a defining feature of modern history, especially during the struggles of the colonies to establish themselves as independent nations at the turn of the twentieth century. While armies and politicians were busy using the blunt tools of violence and political rabble-rousing to advance one side or another, many artists and writers challenged the simplistic oppositions that made cultures out to be at odds with one another by giving voice to complex identities and histories. An Irishman channels the ghost of a kidnapped Renaissance geographer from Africa; a Bangladeshi woman dreams the arrival of a Pterodactyl in modern-day India; amateur Algerian actors star in one of the century’s most well regarded films depicting the fall of French colonialism–our works will take us around the world, and stretch us across multiple histories of colonialism and its aftermaths. We will watch narrative and documentary cinema, look at visual art, and read poetry, fiction, essays, and philosophy, and consider how these media and genres work as forms of thoughtful resistance as well as creative expression. Key authors will include W.B. Yeats, Franz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, V.S. Naipaul, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Mahasweta Devi. In asking students to think broadly and comparatively about discourses of otherness and their impact on artistic, philosophical, and other cultural production, this course will contribute to the college’s Exploring Diversity Initiative.
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, presentation, four short position papers (3 pp, with one revision), and a longer project (6-8 pp) on one of the course's core authors
Enrollment Preference: first-year students who have not taken or placed out of a 100-level ENGL course
Distributions: Division I; Exploring Diversity Initiative; Writing-Intensive;