Heroes, Zombies, Despots, and Exiles: A Haitian Introduction to Postcolonialism|
Among the many phenomena associated with the catchall category of "postcolonial studies," the island nation of Haiti stands alone. It is here, after all, and for the first time in history, that an army of slaves successfully prosecuted a revolutionary war and made a nation. As the world's first black republic, Haiti was likewise the first state to abolish slavery definitively, and according to at least one Haiti scholar, even "invented the process of decolonization that would only take hold in the majority of European colonies a century and a half later." Haiti is consequently an ideal prism through which students may be introduced to the broader concepts of postcolonialism. In this course we will track Haiti's remarkable trajectory from being the wealthiest colony in the world to being the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. We will examine both internal and external literary representations of Haiti's people, its revolution, its unapologetic embrace of Vodou (including its still-unsung invention of the Hollywood zombie), its despots, its exiles, and, last, its indefatigable insistence on its own legitimacy.
Intercultural Literacy, Writing
Both intercultural literacy and writing will be worked on by way of close study of texts, topics, and issues as they are embedded in their specific cultural, historical, and social context. A third essential capability--interpretation--will also be exercised and engaged.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
THE BLACK CODE OF 1685 (pdf)
Pompée de Valentin, Baron de Vastey, THE COLONIAL SYSTEM EXPOSED (excerpts, pdf)
Edouard Glissant, MONSIEUR TOUSSAINT (trans. J. Michael Dash)
Victor Hugo, BUG-JARGAL (trans. TBA)
W.B. Seabrook, MAGIC ISLAND (excerpts, pdf)
WHITE ZOMBIE, film
Jacques Stephen-Alexis, GENERAL SUN, MY BROTHER (trans Carrol F. Coates)
Graham Greene, THE COMEDIANS (any edition)
Dany Laferrière, HOW TO MAKE LOVE TO A NEGRO WITHOUT GETTING TIRED (trans. David Homel)
Edwige Danticat, THE DEW BREAKER (any edition)
|Examination and Assignments: |
Students will be required weekly to complete weekly one-page response papers. There will also be two short 5-7 page papers and a final exam. An oral presentation prepared with other members of the class will also be required.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course, conducted entirely in English, may be appropriate as a related course for the French Studies Major, which allows for the study of topics relating to France and the Francophone world in several courses conducted through the medium of English.
|Instructor(s): Humphries,Mark Times: ..T.R.. 02:40PM-04:00PM; Location: TBA|
|Total Enrollment Limit: 35||SR major: 0||JR major: 0|| || |
|Seats Available: 22||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 0||JR non-major: 5||SO: 5||FR: 25|
|Web Resources: |