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HARPER LIBRARY 151 PROFESSOR SONALI THAKKAR OFFICE HOURS: MON 3:00 – 4:30 ROSENWALD 415C email@example.com COURSE DESCRIPTION This course considers the entanglements of the figures of “woman” and “native”—terms we will scrutinize—in colonial and postcolonial discourse. This will mean investigating various constellations of woman/native, such as the opposition between white European or white settler women and native men; the relationship between colonized or enslaved women and indigenous populations; and the recurring figure of woman as the exemplary native, in her paradoxical position of both keeper and victim of authentic culture. We will consider the status (symbolic and otherwise) of women in anti-colonial resistance and insurgency, and we will examine the versions of masculinity our authors formulate as dialectical responses to the feminization of the profane, degraded bodies of the colonized native. We will attend throughout to the psychic pathologies (particularly nervous conditions of anxiety, hysteria, and madness) that appear repeatedly in these works as states to which women and/as natives are especially susceptible. Our readings will comprise literary texts, seminal works of postcolonial, feminist, and psychoanalytic thought, and recent theoretical pieces by postcolonial and feminist critics from the humanities and humanistic social sciences. READINGS Please get ahold of the books below, in the editions I have specified so that we have the same pagination. Books are available at the Seminary Coop Bookstore (5751 S. Woodland Ave.). All other readings will be available on Chalk, under “Course Documents.” Required Ama Ata Adioo, Our Sister Killjoy (ISBN: 978-0582308459) J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace (ISBN: 978-0140296402) Maryse Condé, I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem (ISBN: 978-0813927671) Assia Djebar, Women of Algiers in their Apartment (ISBN: 978-0813918808) Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (ISBN: 978-0802143006) Bessie Head, A Question of Power (ISBN: 978-0435907204) Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (ISBN: 978-0393960129) Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North (ISBN: 978-1590173022) Recommended Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (ISBN: 978-0954702335)
COURSE ASSIGNMENTS Responses (30%) Please write regular responses of around 800 words to share with the class. These responses will help shape our discussions by making connections between texts, by offering insights that we might take as starting points, and by posing questions. These responses will be posted to our class blog, which is at womannative.wordpress.com. I’ve set this to be a private blog, accessible to the class only. We’ll divide the class into two groups and you’ll post for alternating sessions, beginning with the first class. Responses for a Tuesday session are due by Sunday at 10:00pm, and responses for Thursday classes are due by Wednesday at 11:00am. Participation (30%) The quality and vitality of a graduate course depends on engaged, thoughtful participation. Please come to class prepared with questions and observations about specific aspects of the reading, and be ready to direct us to a page or passage that you think is important for discussion. Please read any new responses posted to the blog before each class and be prepared to discuss some of the issues that they raise. Final Paper (40%) This assignment entails producing a slightly shorter version of the kind of research-based, article-length piece of literary criticism you will find in academic journals. While such articles are normally 7500-9000 words, your papers should be approximately 6000 words, or 18 pages. Its purpose is to help you develop advanced research skills and to acquaint you with this genre and length of writing. We will discuss requirements and best practices over the course of the quarter. PhD students who wish to count this course towards their required number of doctoral seminars or seminar papers may choose to write a longer paper in consultation with me. Final papers are due on March 20, and should be sent to me via email by 5:00pm. COURSE POLICIES Attendance Missing more than two classes without documented cause will affect your standing in the course. SCHEDULE Week 1 1/7 Class cancelled 1/9 Introduction
Week 2 1/14 Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North , trans. Denys Johnson-Davies (New York: New York Review of Books Classics, 2009). 1/16 Salih, cont.
Week 3 1/21 Frantz Fanon, “Introduction,” “The Woman of Color and the White Man,” “The Man of Color and the White Woman,” and “The Lived Experience of the Black Man,” in Black Skin, White Masks , trans. Richard Philcox (New York: Grove Press, 2008), pp. xixviii, 24-44, 45-63 and 89-119. 1/23 Ama Ata Aidoo, Our Sister Killjoy  (White Plains, NY: Longman, 2004).
Week 4 1/28 Aidoo, cont. 1/30 Trinh. T. Minh-Ha, “The Language of Nativism: Anthropology as a Scientific Conversation of Man with Man,” in Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1989), pp. 47-76. Lata Mani, “Contentious Traditions: The Debate on Sati in Colonial India,” in Recasting Women: Essays in Indian Colonial History , eds. Kumkum Sangari and Sudesh Vaid (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1990), pp. 88-126.
Week 5 2/4 Assia Djebar, Women of Algiers in their Apartment , trans. Marjolijn de Jager (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1992). 2/6 Djebar, cont.
Week 6 2/11 Frantz Fanon, “Algeria Unveiled,” in A Dying Colonialism  (New York: Grove Press, 1965), pp. 35-68. Simone de Beauvoir and Gisele Halimi, Djamila Boupacha: The Story of the Torture of a Young Algerian Girl Which Shocked Liberal French Opinion, trans. Peter Green (New York: Macmillan Company, 1962), selections. Ranjana Khanna, “Introduction: The Living Dead” and “Women of Algiers in their Apartment: Trauma, Melancholia, and Nationalism” in Algeria Cuts: Women and Representation, 1830 to the Present (Stanford: Stanford UP, 2008), pp. 1-28, 139-169. Afsaneh Najmabadi, “Women’s Veil and Unveil,” in Women with Mustaches and Men Without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), pp. 132-155. 2/13 Bessie Head, A Question of Power (Oxford: Heinemann, 1974).
Week 7 2/18 Head, cont. 2/20 Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud, “On the Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena: Preliminary Communication” (1893), in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 2 (1893-1895): Studies on
Hysteria, ed. and trans. by James Strachey (London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis), pp. 1-17. Breuer, “Fraülein Anna O” (1893), in The Standard Edition, Vol. 2, pp. 19-47 – OR – Freud, “Frau Emmy von N.” (1893), in The Standard Edition, Vol. 2, pp. 48-105. Freud, “Heredity and the Aetiology of the Neuroses,” (1896), in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 3 (1893-1899): Early Psychoanalytic Publications, ed. and trans. by James Strachey (London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis), pp. 141-156. Week 8 2/25 Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea , Norton Critical Edition, ed. Judith L. Raiskin (New York: Norton, 1998). 2/27 Rhys, cont. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism,” in Critical Inquiry 12:1 (Autumn, 1985), pp. 243-261. Benita Parry, “Two Native Voices in Wide Sargasso Sea,” in Rhys, Norton Critical Edition (excerpted from Parry, “Problems with Current Theories in Colonial Discourse,” in Oxford Literary Review 9 , pp. 27-58).
Week 9 3/4 Hélène Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa” , trans. Keith Cohen and Paula Cohen, in Signs 1, no. 4 (Summer 1976), pp. 875-893 TBD 3/6 Maryse Condé, I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem
Week 10 3/11 Condé, cont. 3/13 J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace
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