English R1A

Reading and Composition: Poetics from the Global South

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2022 Dunsker, Leo
MWF 9-10 204 Dwinelle


This course will focus a range of poetries written in English from what we might broadly call the Global South. Its aim is essentially comparative, tracking similarities and differences – thematic, generic, and stylistic – among this large and diverse corpus of poetry. How do various geographies (political or natural) leave their mark on poems? Where does the "local" end and the "global" begin? How does one write "decolonial" poetry in a colonial society? How can poetry imagine the future or re-imagine the past?

We will read poems by Louise Bennett (Jamaica), Wilson Harris (Guyana), Wole Soyinka (Nigeria), Okot p’Bitek (Uganda), Kofi Awoonor (Ghana), Ee Tiang Hong (Malaysia), Arun Kolatkar (India), and Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Australia), among others. All readings will be distributed digitally.

This course is dedicated ultimately to the cultivation of students’ writing and thinking skills, and so a great deal of time will be devoted to practicing the elementary techniques of summary, synthesis of ideas, and logical argument. Students will complete regular shorter papers in which they will explore the texts and themes of the course, which will become the basis in turn for peer review exercises and written reflections on the process of writing and revision.

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