Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-205
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John E. Drabinski (Section 01)
[D]What was colonialism? What sort of shadow does it cast over the formerly colonized world, even after formal colonial relations have ended? How does colonialism survive independence? What is the postcolonial moment? And what does it call for in processes of decolonization? This course introduces postcolonial theory as a form of philosophical thinking, political strategy, and transformative cultural intervention. We will read works on the meaning of colonialism and the imperatives of decolonial thinking from the black Atlantic world, including early thinkers like Albert Memmi, Aimé Césaire, and Frantz Fanon and their legacy in more contemporary thinkers like Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Wole Soyinka, Édouard Glissant, and Achille Mbembe. As well, we will read selections from key figures in global postcolonial theory including Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, and Subcommandante Marcos. Our aim across these readings is to register the deep and complex harm of centuries of conquest, enslavement, and colonial rule, and the complicated, often paradoxical task of making a world after colonialism. That complicated and paradoxical task, as we shall see, makes it difficult, if not impossible, to make clean distinctions between the individual and the collective, ethnicity and race, history and memory, and ultimately culture and politics.
Spring semester. Professor Drabinski.