ENGL479E Selected Topics in Literature after 1800; Imagining "The Americas"
How have those origins been reworked and transmitted in the imagination, creating a cultural style and politics? How does the interplay of colonialism with newer concepts and movements like “the postcolonial” and “decoloniality” help us make sense of identity and culture? This course examines the function of history and memory in imagining the Americas, with particular focus on how the experience of conquest, genocide, and the Middle Passage animate a sense of place. To that end, we will read contemporary writers including Glissant, Condé, Kincaid, Brathwaite, Wynter, Quijano, Dussel, and Mignolo in order to register the long shadow cast by the original creation of ""the Americas.""
We will discuss key critical concepts that will help us think through the paradoxes of this traumatic beginning: rhizomatic thinking, Plantation, hybridity, modernity-postmodernity-countermodernity, migration and indigeneity, and the meaning of traumatic memory and affect. With these tools, we will explore how a history of pain and suffering is simultaneous with the experience of beauty and pleasures. These concepts will show us how intellectuals have reckoned with origins and how regions and collective groups have worked productively inside the simultaneous experience of pain and beauty."
0101 - John Drabinski