Comparative Literature | Cross-Cultural Encounters: Colonizers, Lovers, Permanent Residents
C262 | 15656 | A. Adesokan
Department of Comparative Literature Spring 2007
Colonizers, Lovers, Permanent Residents
A. Adesokan ~ MW 4:00-6:15pm ~ WH 119
1st 8 week course
This class meets A&H and Cultural Studies requirements.
“Scrubbing at himself as he crouches he feels the grease-stains of
engine innards, the dirt- coating of tools blackened under his
nails, as if all over his body, the condition of his life she has
never known, how could this one, who had taken a fancy to him in
this state he must escape from, ever know[?]”--Nadine Gordimer, The
Pick Up, 2001.
On what terms do human beings, as embodiments of cultures, encounter
one another to reach real understanding? Are contacts by way of love
more meaningful than those established through trade, conquest, or
tourism? Are cultural encounters only value-free or motivated by
power and opportunism, and is understanding possible in such air-
tight circumstances? In this course, we will read works of fiction
and drama, and view films that make these questions an issue of
artistic engagement. We will also examine how the problems of
religion, gender, and differences in age and economic background are
addressed when cultures come in contact. At the end of the course,
students will have encountered a broad range of genres in which
these questions receive engaging attention, and hopefully will
succeed in sharing in these encounters.
Apart from responses to fortnightly responses, students are expected
to write a 5-page mid-semester paper on a comparative reading of two
texts (or including a film), and there will be a final examination.
Texts will include Translations (Brian Friel), A Small Place
(Jamaica Kincaid), Raja, (a film by Jacques Doillon), The Pick Up
(Nadine Gordimer), Remembrance (Derek Walcott), Mississippi Masala
(Mira Nair), Emigrants (George Lamming), and The Lion and the Jewel