The Pedagogy of Post-coloniality in American Universities: Time for New Strategies

BioDun J Ogundayo (University of Pittsburgh, Bradford, USA)

After some three decades in the curriculum, postcolonial literatures and theories seem to me to be stuck in a rut. In terms of curricula and pedagogy there seems to be no connection between undergraduate and graduate levels. They have become a victim-versus-victimizer discourse. At conferences, one has the feeling of being in an echo chamber, after hearing or reading the repetitive use of jargon and polarizing categories. The feeling is no less the same in the classroom, where the pedagogy has come to assume a narrow, guilt-laden, historicizing, formulaic mode. Indeed, courses in this area are classified under an ethnic studies rubric in some colleges, furthering this polarizing trend. Faculty needs to develop new strategies in teaching post-coloniality. An immediate one is to redesign syllabi to reflect and underscore a more encompassing approach that stresses the universality of the human condition without overlooking the specificity of how cultures respond-through their cultural symbols and practices. Indeed, postcolonial literatures and theory could be the basis for comparative literary studies at the undergraduate level. Cross-disciplinary pedagogies could be developed to reflect, encourage and sustain the interest of undergraduate students.

Postcolonial OV discourseov Casablanca Conference

Last modified: 7 May 2001