English 203

Graduate Readings: Caribbean Literature and Culture

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2017 Ellis, Nadia
M 9-12 301 Wheeler African American Literature
World Literature
Graduate Courses

Book List

Brand, Dionne: No Language is Neutral; Brathwaite, Kamau: The Arrivants; Breeze, Jean Binta: Riddym Ravings; Brodber, Erna: Louisiana; Carpentier, Alejo: The Kingdom of This World; Chamiseau, Patrick: Texaco; Condé, Maryse: I, Tituba; Danticat, Edwidge: The Dew Breakers; Díaz, Junot: Drown; James, CLR: Minty Alley; James, Marlon: The Book of Nightwomen; Lovelace, Earl: The Wine of Astonishment; McKay, Claude: Banana Bottom; Rhys, Jean: Wide Sargasso Sea; Salkey, Andrew: Escape to an Autumn Pavement; Selvon, Sam: The Lonely Londoners

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader with criticism, essays, and other short pieces will be available for purchase at Copy Central, Bancroft Avenue.

**Please consult the bCourses website before purchasing books.


“and either I’m nobody, or I’m a nation.” -Derek Walcott

Walcott’s mongrel regionalism is an apt invitation to consider a field of cultures whose richness comes, at least in part, from its provoking tendency toward paradox. Caribbean literature poses enormous challenges to the discipline--challenges of form (traditions are inherited, then broken); of literary history (memory, tradition, and rumor face off against historiography); of genre (artists extravagantly ignore boundaries between literature, music, performance, and theory); and of language (at least four European languages are spoken, and there are several more Creole languages). This course will evidence all these challenges, moving through a wide array of literature and cultural critique in order to establish the grounds of advanced research into Caribbean literary studies. We’ll specify and explore major themes and debates in the field and think through the often baffling dialectic between hegemony and counter-hegemony in national cultures, whereby popular forms at once displace and secure regressive versions of subjecthood. We’ll think, then, alongside extraordinary artists and critics, about the Caribbean tradition’s quicksilver threat and promise; its development on a knife’s edge “either…or” (which is, as Walcott shows, also always “and”).

The course is designed to provide a range of readings in English across the region; to establish the contours and discourse of a field; and to stage the possibilities for asking new questions. Instead of a single final research paper there will be shorter pieces due throughout the semester.

The texts for this course will be available at University Press Books, on Bancroft Way.

This course satisfies the Group 5 (20th Century) requirement.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Fall, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
203/3 Graduate Readings: Materiality Flynn, Catherine
Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
203/1 Graduate Readings: World Systems Theory and the Asian Anglophone Novel Lye, Colleen
203/2 Graduate Readings: The Political Economy of Life and Death in African American Literature and Culture JanMohamed, Abdul R.
Fall, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
203/1 Graduate Readings: On Life: Life Philosophy and Culture Jones, Donna V.
203/2 Graduate Readings: Early African American Literature Wagner, Bryan
203/3 Graduate Readings: Prospectus Workshop Abel, Elizabeth
203/4 Graduate Readings: Lyric, Poetry, Poetics Falci, Eric
Spring, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
203/1 Graduate Readings: George Eliot and Victorian Science Duncan, Ian
203/2 Graduate Readings: Aesthetics and Politics: Kant and Beyond Goldsmith, Steven
203/3 Graduate Readings: Edmund Spenser Landreth, David
203/4 Graduate Readings: What Does Critical Theory Have to Do with the Postcolonial? Saha, Poulomi
Fall, 2015
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
203/1 Graduate Readings: Poetic Meter Hanson, Kristin
203/2 Graduate Readings: Henry James and After Goble, Mark
203/3 Graduate Readings: Victorian Literature from Hegel to Freud Lavery, Joseph
203/4 Graduate Readings: Prospectus Workshop Abel, Elizabeth
Spring, 2015
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
203/1 Graduate Readings: Erotic Renaissance Turner, James Grantham
203/2 Graduate Readings: Readings in Chicano/Latino Narrative Padilla, Genaro M.
203/3 Graduate Readings: Judgment in Early Medieval Literature Thornbury, Emily V.
203/4 Graduate Readings: The Anglophone Novel Jones, Donna V.

Back to Semester List