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English 539
Western Michigan University

Winter Term, 2001

Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:00-5:15

Office Hours:
Monday 12-1, Thursday 3-4

723 Sprau Tower

Dr. Allen Carey-Webb

Postcolonial Literature
Colonial/Postcolonial Dialogues

This course is designed as an introduction to postcolonial literature and culture for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. The emphasis will be on reading contemporary literary works from Africa, India, South and North America, and the Caribbean within the historical, cultural, and political context of European colonialism and anti- and postcolonial resistance. Though the majority of the reading is originally written in English, the course will also include works translated from Spanish and French. (Students capable of reading the texts in their original language are invited to do so.)

We will use a series of texts as focus works and then, in independent groups, students will explore a series of literary, historical, and theoretical texts that create a dialogue around the focus text.  In this way we will investigate the relationships between postcolonial and canonical works of English literature.

The written work for this class will be the development of a Colonial/Postcolonial Literary Dialogues Web Site with pages for every text read and pages introducing and connecting specific literary dialogues around the focus texts.  Pages will demonstrate a mastery of the academic content of the course, high-quality scholarship, library and web research, html literacy, graphic and artistic skill, and include materials for teachers, and extensive links to on-line resources.  The web site will be created for the use of scholars, teachers, and students interested in postcolonial literature and its dialogues with the British and American literary canons.

The course grade will depend on class participation (keeping up with the reading, preparing homework, contributing to discussion, group participation), and contributions to the course web site, to be evaluated in two blocks Feb. 22 and Finals Week.

Since this is a discussion based, seminar-type class attendance is essential. Students are expected to attend every class meeting; missing more than four meetings will lead to failing the course. The class web page is accessible from my web site: http: //vms.cc.wmich.edu/~careywebb. There will be course time allocated for all students to learn web publishing.

Required Reading:

All focus texts and additional literary, historical, and theoretical works depending on focus projects.

Focus Text
Literary Dialogue
Native American Encounter
Morning Girl
Utopia (book 2), The Tempest, Robinson Crusoe, A Tempest (Cesaire)
& Native American literature
People's History  chap 1 & 7 (Zinn), American Holocaust (Stannard),
Native American Testimony: An Anthology of Indian and White Relations 
Making Subject(s) chap. 3 (Carey-Webb)
Colonial Enconters (Hulme)
Conquest of America (Todorov),
American Indian Literatures: An Introduction(Brown Ruoff )
Narrative of Olaudah Equiano
Oroonoko, "Tribal Scars," literature of slavery 
Black Jacobins (James)
People's History: chap 2 & 9 (Zinn)
Capitalism and Slavery (Williams)
Sub-Saharan African Colonialism
Things Fall Apart
Heart of DarknessTarzan, historical African literature, ie. Efuru Batuala
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (Rodney)
Racism in H of D debate,  "On Violence," "On National Culture" (Fanon)
Colonialism and Women
Joys of Motherhood
African Women's Literature, ie. Nervous Conditions, Woman at Point Zero, So Long a Letter, Xala
"Colonialism, the Family and Cultures of Resistance," Postcolonial Critic (Spivak), Woman, Native, Other (Trinh)
The Man-Eater of Malgudi
Passage to India, from Kipling, ie. Kim, modern Indian literature
"Minute on Indian Education," (Macauly) Toward Freedom (Nehru)
Masks of Conquest (Viswanathan)
No Telephone to Heaven
Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea, Abeng, Caribbean literature
Culture and Imperialism (Said)
South Africa
Cry the Beloved Country
South African literature
Season of Migration to the North
"Been to" literature: ie, Ambiguous Adventure Second Class Citizen, No Longer at Ease, Our Sister Killjoy, Satanic Verses, And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (Y no se lo trago la tierra)Jasmine, etc.
TheStory of My Search for Truth (Gandhi)
Imaginary Homelands (Rushdie)


Tuesday, Jan 2: Introductions

Thursday, Jan 4: Native American Encounter
    "Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress" from A People's History (Zinn)

Tuesday, Jan. 9: Morning Girl
        Bring to Class the Focus Text Homework Assignment

Thursday, Jan. 11:  Slavery
        The Life of Olaudah Equiano, chap 1-6

Monday, Jan. 15 MLK Day (During this week attend at least one MLK event.)

Tuesday, Jan. 16The Life of Olaudah Equiano, chap 7 to end, "Drawing the Color Line" from A People's History (Zinn)    Bring to Class the Focus Text Homework Assignment

Thursday, Jan. 18: MLK and Anticolonial Movement
        "Black Power" and "The World House" from Where do We Go From Here

Tuesday, Jan. 23 Sub-Saharan African Colonialism

       Things Fall Apart   Bring to Class the Focus Text Homework Assignment

Thursday, Jan. 25, Tuesday, Jan. 30, Thursday, Feb. 1, Tuesday, Feb. 6, Thursday, Feb. 8, Tuesday, Feb. 13, Thursday, Feb. 15, Tuesday, Feb. 20 Reading, Group Discussion, and Web Site Development

Thursday, Feb. 22        Display Web Pages

Spring Break

Tuesday, Mar. 6        Colonialism and Women

       Joys of Motherhood

Thursday, Mar. 8        Bring to Class the Focus Text Homework Assignment

Tuesday, Mar. 13, Thursday, Mar. 15, Tuesday, Mar. 20 Class to Select additional focus texts

Thursday, Mar. 22, Tuesday, Mar. 27, Thursday, Mar. 29, Tuesday, April 3, Thursday, April 5, Tuesday, April 10, Thursday, April 12 Reading, Group Discussion, and Web Site Development

Finals Week       Display Web Pages

created by [email protected]
Main Overview for the Postcolonial Web Related Courses

Last Modified: 14 March, 2002