Spring 2019

The Novel and Empire:  Decolonial Love

Listed in: English, as ENGL-470

Moodle site: Course

Faculty

Alicia J. Mireles Christoff (Section 01)

Description

In this upper-level course, we will read literary and theoretical texts that, although loosely grouped in terms of period, geography, and style, are all driven by the same set of questions:  Is decolonial love possible? What does it look and feel like?  We will read scholars and writers who describe the ways that imperialism, capitalism, racism, and heteropatriarchy structure conventional ways of loving, caring, and forming social bonds, as well as conventional ways of telling stories and writing novels.  And we will follow these writers as they imagine alternatives to these conventional structures, asking how we might alter the aspects of ourselves and our worlds that seem as fundamental and as intractable as our aesthetics, our desires, our very pleasures.  As a class, we will build transportable definitions of colonialism, anticolonialism, and decoloniality from the texts we study and the contexts in which they were written and that they reflect.  We will investigate the power of these analytic categories to interrogate aspects of personal as well as geopolitical experience, particularly aspects of experience that we have sometimes mistakenly believed to be without historical or sociological determinants.  Possible texts include:  Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks; Moraga and Anzaldúa, eds., This Bridge Called My Back; Stevenson, Life Beside Itself; Muñoz, Cruising Utopia; Lorde, “The Uses of the Erotic”; Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun; Cisneros, The House on Mango Street; Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs; Cole, Open City; Sollett, Raising Victor Vargas; Lee, BlacKkKlansman; Simpson, Islands of Decolonial Love.

Open to juniors and seniors.  Limited to 18 students.  Spring semester.  Professor Mireles Christoff.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to junior and senior majors.

Keywords

Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Research, Attention to Writing

Offerings

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019