Postcolonial Fiction Dr. Yael Maurer
The aim of this course is to examine a selection of texts which can be grouped under the heading "post-colonial". We will examine this problematic term. What does it include? What are its boundaries? How are our reading practices influenced by viewing the texts through the postcolonial lens?
In our reading of literary and theoretical texts, we will explore the colonizer-colonized relationships and attempt to establish the links between the vexed categories of nationality and sexuality. Identity politics, the immigrant experience and the idea of home in a postcolonial world are some of the themes we'll address in this course.
We begin with a novel which takes place in colonial and post-colonial India and tells the story of two women whose experience of India across generations reflects both the allure and the dangers of a (Western) view of the East. The two following novels engage with the complex experiences of immigrants in the former Empire and detail the complex identity dilemmas they encounter. In Lahiri's collection of interlocked stories, we find second generation immigrants in the United States who face the cultural clashes between "America ness" and "India ness".
Rushdie's short homage to his favorite Hollywood film is also a comment on the immigrant experience as an imagined space of longing for an elsewhere which is also home.
Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Wizard of Oz by Salman Rushdie
Orientalism by Edward Said
The Empire Writes Back by Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin
Cosmopolitanism by Kwame Anthony Appiah
Dangerous Liaisons by McClintock, Mufti and Shohat
Film and other media
The Wizard of Oz
The Buddha of Suburbia
Goodness Gracious Me
Heat and Dust
East is East
Attendance and participation 10%
In class midterm 15%
Short responses/class presentations 15%
Final paper 60%