English 190

Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Fall 2013 Ellis, Nadia
TTh 11-12:30 103 Wheeler

Book List

Chandra, V.: Love and Longing in Bombay; Channer, C. (editor): Kingston Noir; Cole, T.: Open City; Rhodes-Pitts, S.: Harlem is Nowhere; Smith, Z.: White Teeth;

Recommended: Chabon, M.: Telegraph Avenue

Other Readings and Media

Films and Television: P. Henzell, dir.: The Harder They Come; S. Frears, dir.: Dirty Pretty Things; G. Hood: Tstotsi; M. Nair, dir.: Salaam Bombay; From Treme and The Wire; Van der Haak, dir.: Lagos/Koolhas; D. Letts, dir.: Dancehall Queen

Course Reader will include works by Baudelaire; Benjamin; Homi Bhabha; Michel de Certeau; Frantz Fanon; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; bell hooks; Gayatri Spivak; Anne McClintock; Joseph Roach; Sarah Nuttall; Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, amongst others. 

Description

For reasons to do with some of its most canonical texts, postcolonial literature is often thought to present a conflict between “tradition” and “modernity,” a conflict often imagined as the peaceful village intruded upon by the demands of the bustling metropolis. As it turns out, urban landscapes are key staging grounds for the terms, claims, and experiences of postcoloniality. With case studies from very different cities—Kingston, Lagos, Bombay, London, and New York—we will explore how writers and artists present postcolonial subjects creating, making use of, and contending with metropolitan spaces. Course themes will include creolization and hybridity; ritual and performance; the politics and meaning of wandering; the politics and aesthetics of visibility; gender and sexuality; and yes, even tradition and modernity, but remixed. An open and on-going question concerns the relevance of the term postcolonial in the U.S. space, which students will be able to explore in a research paper on the Bay Area.

Assignments: Weekly responses papers and a substantial independent research paper.

Please read the paragraph on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

 

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