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123252 AR Literature Course - Literature 1/2 (MA) British/Irish/New English & American/North American Studies (2017S)

Caribbean Postslavery Literature

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 08.06. 17:00 - 20:00 Besprechungsraum Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O2-07
Monday 12.06. 16:00 - 20:00 Besprechungsraum Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O2-07
Wednesday 14.06. 17:00 - 20:00 Besprechungsraum Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O2-07
Monday 19.06. 16:00 - 20:00 Besprechungsraum Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O2-07
Thursday 22.06. 17:00 - 20:00 Besprechungsraum Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O2-07
Monday 26.06. 17:00 - 20:00 Besprechungsraum Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O2-07


Aims, contents and method of the course

Course Description:
The Caribbean is often imagined as a carefree zone of sun, sand and sea. Behind the tourist's fantasy, however, lies the far more complex and tragic history of colonialism, plantation agriculture, slavery and indentureship that produced the modern Caribbean. In this seminar, we will examine this difficult history through the lens of the rich literary tradition of the Caribbean and its diasporas. In particular, we will consider how contemporary Caribbean writers engage with the legacy of slavery that haunts the region, reconstructing the untold stories of slaves and addressing gaps in the archive. Our syllabus will cover a range of anglophone Caribbean writers, including Caribbean Canadian authors. We will also examine some of the 18th- and 19th-century literary and visual intertexts that inspired these contemporary writers to reimagine the slavery past and envision alternative futures.
Each session of the course will pair a historical text or painting with a related work of contemporary Caribbean fiction or poetry. This structure will allow us to consider classic slave narratives alongside "neoslave narratives," contemporary works of historical fiction that mimic the conventions of the slave narrative in order to explore how the legacies of the Middle Passage continue to shape the present. We will also read two recent long poems that revisit key episodes in the history of the transatlantic slave trade and powerfully interrogate the slavery archive. Class discussion will focus on such themes as: memory and forgetting, distorted genealogies, gendered and creolized identities, and the (un)making of literary forms.
This course will be run as a seminar and will combine discussion with student presentations.

Tentative List of Required Texts:
Dionne Brand, At the Full and Change of the Moon
Henry Louis Gates ed., The Classic Slave Narratives
Andrea Levy, The Long Song
Marlene NourbeSe Philip, Zong!
Caryl Phillips, Cambridge
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
In addition to the major literary texts, short literary, historical and theoretical readings will be
made available electronically.

Tentative Schedule of Class Meetings and Readings:
This seminar will meet for seven three-hour sessions.
Session 1: introduction: the history of Caribbean slavery and its literary representation
Selections from The Early Caribbean Digital ArchiveSlave Narratives Collection, dLOC
(Digital Library of the Caribbean) http://www.dloc.com/ecdaslavenarratives
Aljo, "The Slave Narrative in the Anglophone Caribbean"
Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (brief excerpt)
suggested background reading: "Slavery in the Caribbean"
Session 2: the neoslave narrative I
Phillips, Cambridge (1991)
excerpt from Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789)
(in Gates ed.)
Session 3: the neoslave narrative II
Levy, The Long Song (2010)
Prince, The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave (1831) (in Gates ed.)
Session 4: Caribbean gothic
Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)
excerpt from Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)
Session 5: recovering a history of resistance
Brand, At the Full and Change of the Moon (1999)
excerpt from Naipaul, The Loss of El Dorado (1969)
Session 6: the Zong Massacre revisited
Philip, Zong! (2008) (selections)
Dabydeen, "Turner" (1994)
J.M.W. Turner's painting "The Slave Ship" (1840)
Session 7: conclusion
Wrap-up and concluding discussion.

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

Reading list

Association in the course directory

Studium: UF 344; MA 844; MA UF 046
Code/Modul: UF 4.2.4-323-325; MA4, MA5, MA7; M04A
Lehrinhalt: 12-3253

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:33