Read Microsoft Word - Postcolonial Lit.S11.syllabus.w calendar & new reports text version

Postcolonial Literature

Dr. Larry M. Lake ENGL 362 Messiah College MWF 12:40-1:40 Spring 2011 Boyer 234 Description & Objectives This course will examine literary expressions of colonial and postcolonial experiences. Careful attention will be paid to ethnographic, geographic, and historical modes of understanding the multi-layered effects of colonialism. Texts will be drawn from Nigeria, India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, and will be discussed in relation to major themes in postcolonial studies including identity, power, privilege, resistance, hybridity, globalization and neo-colonialism. Texts Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart (Norton Critical Edition) ISBN: 9780393932195 Salman Rushdie Midnight's Children Random House ISBN:9780812976533 Arundati Roy The God of Small Things Random House ISBN: 978-0812979657 Pramoedya Ananta Toer This Earth of Mankind Penguin ISBN: 978-0140256352 Alan Duff Once Were Warriors Vintage ISBN: 978-0679761815 Witi Ihimaera The Whale Rider Raupo ISBN: 9780143011392 Murfin and Ray The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms ISBN: 0312259107 (see note on page 7) Hereniko and Wilson Inside Out: Literature, Cultural Politics, and Identity in the New Pacific Rowman & Littlefield ISBN: 0847691438 Course Objectives: By the end of the semester, students will be able to: 1. Demonstrate an understanding of basic concepts and issues in Postcolonial Studies as a critical perspective within literary and cultural studies. 2. Apply postcolonial critique to selected literary text 3. Gain some understanding of postcolonial Nigerian, Indian, Indonesian and Pacific Islands literary traditions 4. Relate their knowledge and understanding of postcolonial cultures to their personal faith and sense of vocation. Class Format and Requirements Reading: In addition to the primary texts and some short stories or poems, we will read definitions in a glossary and several theoretical essays designed to clarify, contextualize or raise issues relevant to the primary works. To make the most of the readings, students are advised to keep a log in which to take notes, raise questions, and analyze their impressions. Such active engagement should enable you to participate confidently in class discussions and serve you well when you make a presentation or write a paper.

2 Class Presentations: Each student will make a 10-15 min presentation introducing the class to an author, or surveying a European empire, or briefing us important events or movements in colonialism. If about the author, your presentation should essentially be a literary biosketch incorporating the author's life, an overview of major works, the author's literary reputation and distinctive characteristics of the author's writing (stylistic, thematic, philosophical, etc.). Please prepare a one page handout and send it to Dr. Lake not later than 24 hours before your presentation, and he will have copies ready for every member of the class. Your presentation will be graded on its content value and the liveliness of your talk. Please use at least one Powerpoint image (even if it is just the name of your topic). Topics are: Edward Said (and Orientalism) Chinua Achebe London Missionary Society King Leopold and the Belgian Congo Salman Rushdie The Great Trigonometric Survey of India The Partition of India Arundati Roy St. Thomas in India Jhumpa Lahiri Pramoedya Ananta Toer Netherlands Empire VOC and Jan Pieterszoon Coen Multatuli (author of Max Havelaar) Sukarno and Hatta and Indonesian Independence Captain James Cook and Colonialism Creolization in Languages Overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy (1893) Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement Treaty of Waitangi (New Zealand) Alan Duff Witi Ihimaera

Responses: To help you meaningfully engage the texts we will read, for each you are required to make a list of 4-6 questions and comments that come to mind as you move through your reading as follows: · At least three questions of literary interest · A brief comment in response to the question "How does this book speak to me personally?", that is, "How does it affirm, challenge, or revise some personal belief, value, or perception I held prior to my reading?" The questions should reflect your personal, literary, and political engagement with the text. Your own preliminary response to these questions will be the starting point for class discussion. Response papers will be sent by e-mail attachment to Dr. Lake on designated class days using only the subject line Postcolonial Response; bring to class a hard copy of your paper for your own use during the discussion. Class Exam: A short-answer test designed to test your grasp of basic Postcolonial concepts and the content of selected primary texts will be administered. The list of concepts and selected texts will be disclosed one week before the exam.

3 Final Paper: Students will have a choice of essay assignment. Either: a) A critical interpretation of a primary text or an exploration of a relevant theoretical issue. (6 ­ 8 pages double spaced) OR b) A creative response to one of the primary texts, which may take the form of creative dialogue, short fiction, creative non-fiction etc. (8 ­ 10 pages double spaced) * Grading criteria for essays will include originality of insight, close engagement with textual material, appropriate use of secondary sources (where relevant), and clarity of expression. Schedule: a prospectus will be due on 18 February; a draft on 7 March; and final draft and in-class informal presentation of it on 6 May, the final exam period. It is imperative that you meet these deadlines. Format: all essays should be typed and double-spaced. Please make sure that everything you hand in to me specifies your name, the assignment, the date, and the class. Please include page numbers and staple pages. All essays should follow the MLA guidelines for writers of research papers. Copies of the MLA style manual are in the library in the reference section and are available online. One online source is Please be especially wary of plagiarism. Remember that plagiarism is the use of another person's words or ideas without giving proper credit to that person. Plagiarized essays will be failed. Intervention: Dr. Lake will confer with you about your essay at least once. You are encouraged to use the Writing Center or your own peer writing group for further assistance. Academic Integrity Scholastic dishonesty constitutes a serious violation of community standards at Messiah College. Any act which involves misrepresentation of the students' academic work or that abridges the rights of others to fair academic competition is forbidden. Academic dishonesty includes plagiarism, misrepresentation of another's work as your own, cheating on assignments, quizzes, or exams, submission of the same or substantially the same paper in more than one course without the prior consent of all instructors concerned, depriving others of academic sources, and sabotaging another student's work. Penalties range from a grade of zero on the particular assignment, through a grade of "F" in the course, to academic suspension from the College, and potentially, expulsion for repeated offenses. More specific details are available through a dean's office or from Dr. Lake, or online at:

Grade: Your final grade will be computed as follows: Presentation Class test Essay exam Responses Final Paper 10 percent 20 percent 20 percent 20 percent 30 percent

Course Mechanics Study Skills:

4 Postcolonial theory could be a challenge. Please make time to go through each reading carefully noting key point issues as well as points of confusion that we can talk about in class. Further, planning and working ahead will save you from anxiety-driven-despair toward the end of the semester. Participation is Assumed Up to 10% of the course grade, can be eroded by chronic lateness, inattention in class, lack of participation, not bringing textbooks and other necessary materials, unexcused absence, and other evidence of disengagement. Grades Percentage will be computed from your accumulated number of points out of the total points, and a letter grade assigned: A = 92 - 100 B = 83 - 86 C = 73 - 76 D­ = 60 - 66 F below 60

A­ = 90 - 91

B­ = 80 - 82

C­ = 70 - 72

B+ = 87 - 89 C+ = 77 - 79 D+ = 67 - 69 If you dispute a grade you earn on an individual assignment, discuss it with the professor as soon as possible within 48 hours of receiving that grade. Grades are final after 48 hours. Grade Characteristics Many students have found this chart, approved by the Messiah College faculty, to be useful in considering the quality of their work in a course:

Messiah College Characteristic 1. Interest and ability to communicate Performance Level of Different Grades Grade: A Almost always shows creativity, sound judgment, intellectual curiosity and communicates correctly and clearly. Almost always analyzes critically, synthesizes creatively, uses facts in original thinking, and generalizes logically. Shows sound techniques in all projects and uses knowledge effectively. Meets or exceeds stated course requirements with distinction in all aspects. B Frequently shows creativity, sound judgment, intellectual curiosity and communicates correctly and clearly. C Shows sustained interest and is able to communicate well and understandably. D Exhibits interest. Marginal performance in communicating. F Shows minimal interest. Does not communicate clearly enough to get ideas across.

2. Performance skills of discipline

Frequently analyzes critically, synthesizes creatively, uses facts in original thinking, and generalizes logically. Shows sound techniques in most projects and uses knowledge effectively. Meets or exceeds stated course requirements with excellence in many aspects.

Usually produces viable generalizations, and satisfactorily organizes data.

Commits errors in fact and judgment when discussing material and has difficulty going beyond gathering and examining facts and data. Demonstrates minimal competence in the techniques of scholarship. Meets stated course requirements with adequate performance in some aspects.

Does not comprehend the concepts and ideas which are a part of the course. Does not gather and examine facts and data satisfactorily. Does not use sound techniques of scholarship.

3. Techniques of scholarship

Good understanding of techniques in most projects.

4. Meeting requirements of the course--in preparation, outside reading, and class participation, etc.

Meets stated course requirements with adequate performance in all aspects.

Does not meet the standards and requirements.

Professor Dr. Lake has taught literature, writing, and anthropology in Christian high schools and colleges since 1974, and is in his 37th year of teaching. He has lived and worked in Pacific Island cultures for a total of nine years, including six years under the colonial regime in Netherlands New Guinea. In addition to four research expeditions to New Guinea, he has studied and conducted research related to his expertise in Pacific cultures and the colonial past at Leiden University in the Netherlands, at University of the Nations in Hawaii, at University of California at San Diego, and at University of Hawaii. He frequently is a consultant to writing programs, and Christian schools, and a speaker at international literacy conferences, and is noted for his research on the teaching of writing in cross-cultural situations by the preservation of indigenous literatures. He is especially interested in historical

5 relationships between Christian missionaries and European colonial governments. While he was still an English and anthropology major at Wheaton College, he was invited to co-teach a course on Pacific island anthropology, and won an award in an Atlantic Monthly fiction contest with the short story "When Names Change," which later became the basis for his novel by the same name, about cultural change and colonial oppression in New Guinea. Since then, his writing has included over 30 scholarly papers, 17 published magazine articles, 12 book reviews, and 3 published stories. His Ph.D., from University of Pennsylvania, entailed a study of literacy education in New Guinea. His dissertation is available online at . His web page is Out There Beyond Beyond, which Dr. Lake co-authored with retired New Guinea missionary seaplane pilot Edward Ulrich, was published in 2000. More recently, his book Richard Archbold in New Guinea: Money, Power, and Science in the Colonial Pacific, 1933-1939 has been featured on NPR's "Radio Expeditions," and is currently under consideration by a publisher. Warning Label Messiah College students' reactions to some materials in this and similar courses suggest that this course should have a warning label:

Cultural Outrage Alert. Seeing art, reading literature, listening to music, and observing documentary images from other cultures (and sometimes even your own) may be an uncomfortable learning experience. Be aware that some materials in this course, though carefully selected for educational value, may shock and disturb some persons. You are encouraged to discuss your concerns with Dr. Lake; an email may be an appropriate way to at least start this discussion. Class time may sometimes be devoted to our discussion of the emotional impact of colonialism and its residual effects.

Office Hours Dr. Lake's office is Boyer 212, his phone mail extension is 3360, and his email address is [email protected] He will normally be available in his office from 9 to noon on MWF, and invites you to email him for an appointment at any other time. Attendance Attendance is critical in a literature course, especially one where the course content includes class discussions, and where writing assignments are often suggested by classroom interaction. Persistent irresponsible absence may lower a student's final grade substantially. The few acceptable absences include illness and family crises, both of which should be documented by a note from an appropriate person. If you know you will miss a class in this course, or even that you will be late, you are expected to email Dr. Lake, by the starting time of the class you will miss. Be sure to give a brief explanation of the absence. This will help Dr. Lake assist you in catching up with missed assignments. If an assignment is due the class you will miss, please have someone put it in the "From Students" folder on Dr. Lake's door. Communicating Effectively You are expected to regularly check campus mail and your email account: at least every 24 hours is recommended. (Sometimes Dr. Lake will use one or both of these to quickly communicate assignment changes, class cancellations, or give special instructions.) Do not send assignments as email attachments unless asked to do so. If you send Dr. Lake an email during the weekend, you should not expect a reply from him between noon Saturday and noon Monday, because of his family's observance of the Sabbath. Staying in the Classroom To show respect to other students who are participating in the classroom, please remain in the classroom once the class has started, until the class is finished. Certainly an emergency or medical condition may be an exception to this.

6 Technology and the Classroom Please do not use cellphones or other electronics in Dr. Lake's classroom. Computers tend to be distracting and defeat the "face-to-face" advantages of a discussion course like this one, so they may not be used in class. Students with Diabilities Messiah College welcomes students with disabilities. If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations for this specific course, please contact the professor as soon as possible. All disability accommodations must be pre-approved through the Office of Disability Services, Hoffman ext 7258. More information is available online at

Inclusive Language: Using Care with Language about Other People and Cultures Messiah College's statement on inclusive language specifies the "importance of the person, affirming that "every person is to be respected and valued . . . because each person is created in the image of God." Divinely created and sharing equally in God's design, each human is worthy of respect and honor, regardless of characteristics including but not limited to gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, ability, or marital or parental. As an expression of that conviction and in recognition of God's gift of love to each of us, inclusive language should be used in all levels and forms of communication at the College in reference to human beings." One section particularly relevant to any course like this one where we frequently study attitudes about other cultures is this: Forms of Exclusive or Discriminatory Language. Improper language usage can lead to various forms of blatant inaccuracy and discrimination. Inclusive language seeks to remedy forms of linguistic discrimination. (For a person who is not part of the excluded or affected group, it is difficult to perceive the discriminatory nature of his or her language and thus requires extra sensitivity and receptiveness.) The following illustrate examples of linguistic discrimination: a. Invisibility occurs when certain phrases exclude or ignore a person or group (e.g., using "he" to mean people of either gender). Inclusive language acknowledges the presence of such unrepresented persons or groups. b. Extra visibility occurs when a personal characteristic irrelevant to the context is emphasized, making the individual or group seem out of the norm (e.g., "blind singer" or "Chinese doctor" rather than simply "singer" or "doctor" when the modifier to the subject has no bearing on the topic discussed). Inclusive language refuses to place extra emphasis on irrelevant differences. c. Trivialization occurs when certain phrases unnecessarily devalue or denigrate the actions, activities, and occupations of a person or group (e.g., "even a woman can do it"). Inclusive language avoids the belittlement of individuals and groups. d. Stereotyping occurs when oversimplified and overgeneralized labels are applied to a person or group, thereby denying individuality (e.g., "African-Americans are good dancers," "Pacific-islanders are obese," "Japanese are short."). Inclusive language refuses to limit or pigeonhole any individual or group. e. Imposed labeling occurs when individuals or groups (often minority or less powerful groups) have a name or term given to them by another individual or group (e.g., Euro-Americans historically called Americans of African heritage "Negroes" but that group's generally preferred name for themselves is

7 "African-Americans"). Inclusive language avoids the use of such labels or allows the group to define themselves. It is important to be aware of and honor the way a group prefers to be named. It must be recognized that sometimes particular groups' preferences and labels change or are in flux and one specific appellation may not be embraced as the norm. The entire statement on inclusive language can be found on the college's website at . At times, for educational purposes, language which does not conform to these standards may be read or quoted from historical documents. Great care will be taken to contextualize and attribute these words accurately so that confusion is minimized. Using Murfin and Ray The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms This text has been carefully selected for its ability to inform our discussions of literature and to be a literary language reference for you as you are reading and writing about literature. Sometimes, entries in this glossary will be noted on the calendar as required reading for that day; at other times, entries will be assigned for reading and study. The following literary terms will be emphasized in our work, to be used organically in essays and our discussions and not just as memorized definitions: authorial intention Colonial period connotation criticism cultural criticism cultural studies descriptive linguistics fiction foreshadowing intentional fallacy intertextuality irony legend linguistics magical realism Marxist criticism montage myth mythic criticism narrator orientalism postcolonial literature postcolonial theory race reader-response criticism realism romanticism sentimentalism socialist realism sociological novel thick descriptions tone transformational linguistics

8 An essay for the unit on Pacific postcolonial literatures: The Pacific Islands Pacific Islanders inhabit a vast oceanic realm encompassing fully one-third of the surface of the earth. Although accounting for only a tiny fraction of the global population, the region contains close to a quarter of the world's languages. The Islands are also home to some of the most ancient and some of the most recent human settlements. Oceania is thus characterized by enormous ecological and cultural diversity; a human history rich in epic ritual, travel, narrative, and innovation; and pressing contemporary issues that command the interest and expertise of scholars, artists, and intellectuals in many different areas of inquiry. Colonized by European powers relatively late in global terms, the Pacific Islands were also among the last to be decolonized. Since the early 1960s the process of decolonization has created nine independent countries and a further five entities that are self-governing but retain a relationship of "free association" with a former colonial power. Decolonization terminated the direct control of Island entities by outside powers, but it did not restore to Pacific Islanders the level of control over their lives that had existed prior to colonization. One of the ironies of our time is that political power was restored to colonized peoples just when the significance of the sovereign nation-state was declining in the face of unprecedented levels of global interdependence. As a result of intense political and economic transformations, large numbers of Pacific people have moved away from their home islands to inhabit a diaspora spanning the globe, from Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand to Europe and North America. There are also large communities of Pacific peoples living on other islands where they are not indigenous, creating further cultural diversity in an already complex region. In the manner of their ancestors, Pacific peoples today have adopted a number of creative survival strategies in the face of rapid cultural, social, political, and economic changes. Among these are abilities to navigate multiple worlds that might include both Christian and indigenous spiritual practices, western and indigenous lifestyles, and western and "traditional" political and economic structures, while still maintaining a commitment to family and community relations. Educators, writers, artists, writers, and performers in both the Islands and the diaspora have also become expert at foregrounding cultural values while weaving together popular and ancient concepts and media. In the opinions of some scholars, artists, investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, and journalists, the Pacific appears to epitomize an extreme double condition--paradise with postcolonial political and economic chaos. While discourses on tourism reliance, failed states, economic aid, and dependency abound, any simplistic approach to this complex region misses the diverse range of everyday practices that inspire and sustain the lives of those in and connected to Oceania. While addressing the challenges that shape social, economic, and political life across the region, the center's approach to Pacific Islands studies is directly informed by an attention to creative practices and the diverse histories that shape them.

(This essay is used by permission from the website of Center for Pacific Island Studies, University of Hawaii)


Postcolonial Literature

Day Jan 31 M Feb 2 W 4 F 7M 9W

ENGL 362

Spring 2011

calendar version 1/31/2011

11 F

Lesson/Activity/Discussion/Student Reports Syllabus, definitions Reports assigned Video: Edward Said -- Talking Liberties What is Colonialism? Video: First Contact Map: Empires No class: prepare reports, reading Things Fall Apart No class: prepare reports, reading Things Fall Apart Report: Chinua Achebe (Katherine Taylor) Chinua Achebe. Things Fall Apart Video: Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart Report: London Missionary Society (Tara


Assignments Due postcolonial literature 394-397 in M&R begin reading Things Fall Apart H&W chapters 1-2

Response: Things Fall Apart

14 M 16 W 18 F 21 M 23 W 25 F

28 M Mar 2 W 4F 7M 9W 11 F

Mar 21M 23 W 25 F 28 M 30 W Apr 1 F

Things Fall Apart Things Fall Apart Video: India: a documentary Hawaiian Music and Dance Demonstration Salman Rushdie Midnight's Children Report: Salman Rushdie (Brittany Ascenszi) Midnight's Children Report: The Partition of India (Alexandra Brandt) Report: Great Trigonometric Survey of India (Tyler Henry) Midnight's Children Video: Interview with Salman Rushdie Arundati Roy The God of Small Things Report: Arundati Roy (Katie Todd) The God of Small Things Report: St. Thomas in India (Elizabeth Coon) The God of Small Things Dr. Lake: Rushdie and Roy Conferences about Final Essay; Review for Exam Exam: Concepts, Definitions, and Practices in Postcolonial Literature Spring Break No Class Video: Namesake Video: Namesake Video: Namesake Report: Jhumpa Lahiri (Mandy Krepps) Toer This Earth of Mankind Report: Pramoedya Ananta Toer (Dylan Holford) This Earth of Mankind Report: Netherlands Empire (Alyssa Levengood) This Earth of Mankind Report: VOC and Jan Pieterszoon Coen (Greg


Essay prospectus due Response: Midnight's Children

Response: The God of Small Things Read: Tyson 11 (PDF sent) Guidelines for Exam Draft of Essay due

Jhumpa Lahiri "A Temporary Matter" Response: This Earth of Mankind




This Earth of Mankind Report: Multatuli (Kira Maier); Sukarno, Hatta, Indonesian Independence (Nate Rosentrater) Dr. Lake: Pacific Colonies Report: Captain James Cook and Colonialism (Erin McRae) Video: First Contact Dr. Lake: Neo-colonialism and the OPM Video: Forgotten Bird of Paradise

H&W ch 3, 11

H&W 8


11 M Report: Creolization in Languages (Abigail Long) Video: Pidgin: The Voice of Hawai'i Report: Overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy

(Elizabeth Nickerson )

H&W ch 11,12

13 W 15 F 18 M 20 W

Alan Duff Once Were Warriors Report: Alan Duff (Matt Reimer) Once Were Warriors Report: Treaty of Waitangi (Christie Johnston) Video: Once Were Warriors Video: Once Were Warriors Easter Break No Class

Response: Once Were Warriors H&W ch 9, 10

27 W 29 F May 2 M May 6 F

The Whale Rider Report: Witi Ihimaera (Amanda Blank) Video: The Whale Rider Video: The Whale Rider 1:30 (Final Exam Period) Conclusions In- Class Synopses of Essays

Response: The Whale Rider

Essay Due


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