358:460 Seminar: Topics in Colonial and Postcolonial Literature

H6  7\11-8/17 TTH 6:00-10:00 PM  CAC  04741  BOBE  MU-204

Think back to the last period drama featuring a revolution that you watched on Netflix. Now think about the last horror movie you and your friends went to see. What did they have in common? Maybe there were characters demonstrating anxiety towards an individual who appeared strange or different. Or maybe the films gave a sense of fear that an established, traditional way of life was somehow disappearing. Perhaps the movies at times presented a strong feeling of dread toward the unknown. Qualities like these are important to two distinctive literary traditions: the postcolonial and the gothic.

This seminar will offer students foundations in both postcolonial and gothic literature and theories. We will also be reading texts that bring the two together, and we will discuss whether such literature is evidence of a new tradition, the postcolonial gothic. As we think through these questions of genre, students will be encouraged in their writing assignments to look closely at the texts as well as embark on independent research within the field. We’ll be using our reading, discussions, and writing to help us answer questions such as: what does a tradition like the gothic, steeped in imperial histories, serve to offer postcolonial critical conversation? What is the larger conversation that is occurring between these fields, and how will the texts we explore this summer contribute to that conversation?