ANT 391 • Postcoloniality
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Although postcolonial studies often focus on fiction (primarily Anglophone and Francophone), and I have taught the seminar with that focus in the past, this semester we will read relatively little fiction. Instead, much of the reading will consist of works by authors in the social sciences whose work on nationalism and modernity is often invoked in postcolonial debates. So we will begin with Benedict Anderson's canonical Imagined Communities and go on to read more recent work by Anderson, particularly essays and a recent book in which he discusses the Philippines, and especially the role of José Rizal, in detail. We will also read Rizal's two novels, and an extended commentary on those novels by Vince Rafael. We will then read a number of works by South Asians who have made important contributions to our understandings of nationalism (often in dialogue with Anderson): Partha Chatterjee, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Ashis Nandy, and Arjun Appadurai. We will take Rabindranath Tagores' novel The Home and the World as an exemplar of some South Asian fiction written not long after Rizal's time. Finally, we will read Marilyn Ivy's Discourses of the Vanishing for insights into how a non-colonized people, the Japanese, have responded to modernity.