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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Spring 2004

ANT 394M • Alterity & Identity in Europe

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
26960 MW
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
EPS 4.102A
Straubhaar, S.

Course Description

This course will take examples from various European literatures as case studies to show how postcolonial and postmodern theories of identity and otherness apply. The cultures and literatures of Northern, Western and Central Europe have since the first taken as their topic issues such as cultural contact, cultural appropriation, authenticity, and ethnicity. They thus offer test cases for how alterity and identity function in cultures and at historical moments that are crucial to the development of national, cultural and political ideals. Texts for these case studies will be drawn from literature (novels and short prose), history (sagas, chronicles, and historical novels), and general culture (e.g. saints' lives, museum exhibits, pageants). Students will be encouraged to draw from the national cultures(s) of their own specialties for the focus of semester projects. Class investigations and semester projects may visit the following venues (from four different eras, namely: classical, medieval, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, current):

* "Barbarians" and classical historians, e.g., Herodotus, Tacitus * The ethnic and/or supernatural Other in Icelandic sagas, or in miscellaneous travel narratives * Saints and witches (how differentiated from one another?) as Others, in the Middle Ages * Women and madness in 19th-century literature (e.g., Charlotte Brontë, Amalie Skram, Hebbel, Strindberg) * The past as Other: the historical novel (e.g. Freytag, C.F. Meyer, Undset) * The foreign as Other: the adventure novel (e.g., Haggard, Kipling, Buchan, Karl May) * Colonialism, diplomacy and war as conducted within the discourse of alterity (Edward Said, etc.) * The past as Other: museums and historical reenactment societies * Newly multicultural populations in Europe as Enemy Others: Skinhead and national front movements * Long-term European residents as Ethnic Others: Sámi, Inuit, Roma, etc. (as in Høeg's Smilla's Sense of Snow)


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