English | Literatures in English 1900-Present
E304 | 1888 | Bose


2:30p-3:45p TR (30) 3 cr.

OPEN TO MAJORS ONLY. DECLARED MINORS OBTAIN
AUTHORIZATION FROM BH402.

The nation, according to Benedict Anderson, "is an imagined
political community" that is "imagined as both inherently limited
and sovereign." This course will examine literature from former
colonial powers and newly independent countries to see how the
novels "imagine" the future of the nation-state.  We will consider
how issues of "difference" have evolved and been articulated in
specific geopolitical sites.  In other words, who gets imagined as
part of the nation and who gets left out of certain definitions?
Despite coming from various socio-political backgrounds, these
writers share the task of expressing the historical realities and
cultural legacy of colonialism.  One aspect of the legacy is the
spread of English.  We will discuss how a number of writers
strategically use English (the language of one set of colonizers)
and/or Pidgin in order to create a new, even separate, literary
tradition, which distinguishes itself from the Anglo-American
canon.  We will look at how Anglo-American cultural hegemony
has been ensured not just through the institutions of colonialism
but also through the domination of western popular culture in so-
called "third world markets."  This flow of ideas from the colonial
centres into the (former) colonies has not been one-way.  Thus, we
will also consider how emigration has influenced cultural
production in metropolitan cities like London.  We will situate the
works within their historical contexts, paying particular attention to
dependency theories and the effects of colonial economic
development.  Throughout the course, we will address the
problematics behind such terms as "post-colonial,"
"commonwealth," "national literature," "center/metropolis,"
"periphery," "third world," and "the third world in the first world."

A tentative list of readings includes: E.M. Forster, A PASSAGE
TO INDIA; Salman Rushdie, SHAME; Sahar Khalifeh, WILD
THORNS; Bapsi Sidhwa, CRACKING INDIA; Aly Renwick,
LAST NIGHT ANOTHER SOLDIER, Chinua Achebe, THINGS
FALL APART; and Etel Adnan, SITT MARIE ROSE.

Students should expect to write a research paper (10-12 pages),
which will be broken down into several stages, participate actively
in class discussion, and take a midterm and final exam.