Communication and Culture | Senior Seminar in Comm & Culture: Postcolonial Theory and Visual Culture
C401 | 1076 | Paula Amad


This upper-level undergraduate course introduces students to the key
issues, methods, and theorists of postcolonial studies through the
lens of visual culture.  We will investigate several conceptual
frameworks (imperialism, colonialism, nationalism, modernism,
postmodernism) central to the development of postcolonial studies
through close readings of a range of cinematic, critical, televisual,
and photographic texts.  Each week is focused on a central visual text
which will be explored in relation to an overarching theme and related
critical text.  The course is structured to develop chronologically
and synchronically and includes two to three intensive case studies
where we will have the chance to explore the specific colonial and
postcolonial encounters of countries like France and Australia. We
will be concerned with issues of representation, historical memory,
cultural hybridity, the interrelatedness of race and gender,
resistance and struggle, and the possibility of claiming Œauthentic
identityš in an era of intense economic and cultural globalization.
The course aims to familiarize the student with the central issues of
postcolonial studies, to facilitate a cross-disciplinary approach to
textual and visual analysis which has been crucial to the field of
postcolonial studies (particularly in relation to the mobilization of
different theoretical notions of the 'gaze'), to investigate key
tropes within the discourse of postcolonial studies (such as the
migrant, the exile, the subaltern, the hybrid, the metropole and the
periphery), and finally, to interrogate the utility of the concept of
the postcolonial within the domain of visual culture. The works we
will study
include: the writings of Edward Said, Stuart Hall, Homi Bhabha, Kobena
Mercer, and Anne McClintock, and the films of Ousmane Sembčne,
Jean-Luc Godard, Julie Dash, Tracey Moffatt, and Stephen Frears.