Summer 2020 Undergraduate English Courses: Theories and Methods

359:312 Marxism, Feminism, and the Postcolonial Text

B6  5/26-7/3  TTH 6:00-9:40 PM   CAC   05778  SHIROMA  MU-115

Marxism, Feminism and the Postcolonial Text

How should we understand the relationship between colonialism and capitalism? What does freedom look like for women in the aftermath of colonialism, and how have writers and theorists imagined it? This course will provide an introduction to the literary-critical study of colonialism and its legacies in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, emphasizing moments of connection and disjunction between Marxist, feminist, and anticolonial perspectives. We’ll begin by considering the relationship between colonialism and global capitalism, exploring different ways in which anticolonial theorists have taken up and transformed Marxist concepts. We’ll explore the issue of violent resistance to colonialism, including feminist writings on violence, trauma, gender, and women’s participation in (and exclusion from) revolutionary movements. We’ll then consider a set of interlocking questions regarding gender, colonialism, and the postcolonial nation: how have women theorized reproductive labor, the family, and sexuality in the context of the postcolonial nation-state? What are the affordances and limitations of Marxism for feminist projects? How have anticolonial feminist theorists employed, contested, and transformed the category of the human? How should we understand the positionality and subjectivity of queer, racialized, and/or colonized women amidst the competing claims of colonialism, masculinist anticolonial movements, and Eurocentric or heternormative feminisms?

Authors may include Frantz Fanon, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Silvia Federici, Gloria Anzaldua, Gayatri Spivak, Sylvia Wynter, Sara Ahmed, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Ama Ata Aidoo, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Nnedi Okorafor. This class counts toward the Theories and Methods requirement for the English major.