ENGL 5317: Postcolonial Literature: Imagining Cosmopolitanism from Postcolonial Locations
Dr. Roger McNamara
Thursdays 6:00-8:50 PM (HYBR)
Though the concept of cosmopolitanism originates in ancient Greece, it has become increasingly debated in our globalized world where national economies are dependent upon each other, where peoples and cultures are constantly circulating and being transformed, and where states that were unconcerned with each other have come into conflict. In our integrated world critics like Martha Nussbaum believe that cosmopolitanism is the only viable model that can promote social consensus and harmony. For others, such as Kwame Anthony Appiah, cosmopolitanism surreptitiously asserts normative values (typically associated with Europe) and suppresses differences. This course examines the debate over the relevance of cosmopolitanism through the lens of postcolonial theory and literature. How do artists and theorists of color and of different religious and ethnic backgrounds debate the relevance of cosmopolitanism? To this effect, we will be reading theorists like Kwame Anthony Appiah, Leela Gandhi, Walter Mignolo, and David Scott in conjunction with writers from the early twentieth century to the present like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria-US), Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), Amitav Ghosh (India), Michael Ondaatje (Canada-Sri Lanka), Rabindranath Tagore (India), and Pramoedya Ananta Toer (Indonesia).
Requirements fulfilled: Comparative Literature
ENGL 5380: Advanced Problems in Literary Studies: Transnational Feminist and Queer Studies
Dr. Kanika Batra
Fridays: 9:00-11:50 AM
Chandra Mohanty's conceptualization of feminism without borders is premised on intersections between women's movements, activism, and analysis on a global scale. As a method of inquiry encompassing biological, kinship, and work-related categories that span cultures and continents -- women as unwaged, white, blue, or pink collar workers performing corporate, academic, manual, domestic, or sexual labor -- transnational feminist studies has emerged as an important branch of globalization theory. Following Nancy Fraser, we can identify struggles for recognition of new identity categories and redistribution of economic, social, and political power as the major strands in transnational feminist analysis.
'Redistribution' and 'recognition' are keywords in the feminist philosophical, anthropological, and historical accounts we will read in this course. Some of the issues the course will address are: emergence of new categories of work such as 'higglers' and ‘migrant sex workers' in the Caribbean; transnationalization of labor practices such as those in the export processing zones all over the world; women's responses to their changing public and private roles including an increase in domestic and social violence; new forms of affective intimacy in late capitalism including the adoption of a global vocabulary of identity politics such as 'gay', 'lesbian' or 'queer,' and the intersection of these identities with practices of tourism and migration. While we will examine these issues in a transnational framework, the course includes a special focus on the political, social, and cultural economies of the global South as manifested in gender studies scholarship and curricula in the Euro-American academy.
Requirements fulfilled: Comparative Literature; Non-fiction; Methods; Women's Studies Graduate Certificate