Winter 2011

Joseph Bauerkemper

“Native American Literary Studies”
Department of English
This lecture course will introduce students to key texts in the oral and written literary traditions of peoples indigenous to North America, while also providing insight into various critical approaches developed within the field.

Claudia Hoffmann

“Issues of Globalization and Migration in Contemporary African Cinema”
Interdepartmental Program in African Studies

Recent filmmaking across the globe shapes and has been shaped by globalization processes in which exchange, borders, and flows of people and objects, including the films themselves, challenge commonly held notions of nation state, citizenship, and a global community. In this course we will explore how African filmmakers and their films take part in this globalized exchange and how they negotiate the necessity of telling African stories from within the continent and issues of financing and distribution. How do African filmmakers situate the role of Africa within an unequal global world order? How do they recreate issues of mobility and transcontinental movements by African nationals who wish to participate in the economic opportunities the Global North seems to offer? We will discuss films by Ousmane Sembène, Jean-Marie Téno, Pascal Atuma, Abderrahmane Sissako, and others.

Ani Mukherji

“Queer, Pacifist, and Free? Paul Goodman’s America”
Department of History

A senior seminar that takes the occasion of the centenary of Paul Goodman’s birth as an opportunity to explore one writer’s life and contexts as a lens on American politics and culture.

Firat Oruc

“Language Politics in World Anglophone Literature”
Department of English
In this course we will focus on fiction, drama, poetry and critical prose written in English in the twentieth and twenty-first-century by African, Irish, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, and South Asian writers and expatriates, starting from the premise that Anglophone literary studies has swerved away from a nation-based paradigm (with Britain and the US at the center) and toward one that is language based (literature in English). Organized around recurrent themes and problematics in global English writing, the course will emphasize a transnational perspective to interrogate the ways in which these works revise and challenge the function, operation and ownership of the language in relation to the shared experience of colonial rule, postcolonial independence and contemporary migration.

Namrata Poddar

“African Diasporic Literature: Insularity and Transnationalism”
African Studies
From romanticist and modernist fiction to contemporary tourist brochures, a long standing cultural and popular imaginary has associated small islands with socio-political and ecological utopias. Postcolonial and disapora theory have further appropriated the images of flow and fluidity to celebrate maritime mobility and insularity as a catalyst to transformations of self, art and society. This course will focus on the ways in which the contemporary fiction from the Caribbean and Indian Ocean islands instantiate a poetics of insularity and transnationalism and help us rethink some of the ongoing critical debates on diaspora, migration, marginality, globalization, creolization, place and ecology. Fictional works will be read along with critical texts drawn from the fields of postcolonial, urban, tourism and literary-environmental studies, among others.