Fall 2008


Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-66  |  English, as ENGL-95


Marisa Parham (Section 02)


(Also Black Studies 66.) As Dohra Ahmad has pointed out, a full half of the Man Booker awards in the last twelve years have gone to novels written in non-standard English: “What would once have been derogatorily termed ‘dialect literature’ has come into its own in a language known variously as slang, creole, patois, pidgin, or, in the words of Nigerian novelist Ken Saro-Wiwa, ‘rotten English.’” With a particular focus on texts written in the wake of English and American colonialism, this advanced seminar in language and literature will offer a survey of texts written in English from around the globe, not only looking to the many ways social and historical realities transform language, but also at how linguistic shifts shape literary concerns. What, for instance, might it mean that texts written in the language of the marginalized have come to be appreciated as most representative of the contemporary metropole? How do such changes impact our sense of “the literary,” or of what “counts” as culture more generally? Fall semester. Professor Parham.