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Course Details

Spring 2017-2018
* AAS 242 / ENG 242 / GSS 242 / LAS 242 (LA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Other Futures: An Introduction to Modern Caribbean Literature

Nijah Cunningham

This course introduces students to major theories and debates within the study of Caribbean literature and culture with a particular focus on the idea of catastrophe. Reading novels and poetry that address the historical loss and injustices that have given shape to the modern Caribbean, we will explore questions of race, gender, and sexuality and pay considerable attention to the figure of the black body caught in the crosscurrents of a catastrophic history. We will analyze how writers and artists attempted to construct alternative images of the future from the histories of slavery and colonialism that haunt the Caribbean and its diasporas.

Sample reading list:
Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism
M. NourbeSe Philip, She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks
Dionne Brand, In Another Place, Not Here
Edwidge Danticat, The Farming of Bones
Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Orlando Patterson, The Children of Sisyphus
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
1) Weekly Reading Responses (10%): A brief yet substantive response (~500 words; 10 in total) to each week's assigned readings. 2) Midterm Exam (25%): A take-home assignment that will consist of four to five short answer essays. 3) Final Paper (35%): An eight to ten-page paper that critically engages at least one of the literary works on the syllabus and addresses the course's larger themes.

Paper in lieu of Final - 35%
Take Home Mid term Exam - 25%
Papers - 10%
Oral Presentation(s) - 20%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%

Other Requirements:
Multimedia Student Project Required

Other information:
Students will also take part in a collaborative group project that explores the connection between literary texts and visual art. This project will expose students to contemporary Caribbean visual artists who engage with questions of history, loss, and belonging across the region and its many diasporas.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
40309 S01 03:00:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm M W   Stanhope Hall   101   Enrolled:10 Limit:15