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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2009

E 379N • Caribbean Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor

Wilks, J

Course Description

Please refer to the course schedule for course days, time, room location, prerequisites and possible cross-listings:

Through a survey of texts from English-, French-, and Spanish-speaking islands, this course seeks to address the complexity of "the Caribbean" as a geographic construct, that is, the chain of islands stretching from North to South America, and as an imagined site, that is, the tropical destination marketed to North American and European tourists. To do so we will supplement our reading of literary texts from the region with the examination of travel-related texts about the region. Throughout the semester we will consider how the dynamics of slavery and colonialism differed from island to island and explore the multiple manifestations of "postcolonial" life that have emerged across the archipelago since the 1960s. The course will conclude with an examination of the migration of Caribbean authors and texts to the United States and of the resulting development of hyphenated Caribbean-American identities. All texts will be read in English, and the list of proposed texts is subject to change.

Grading Policy

2 short papers (4 pages each) 40%; Final critical essay (8-10 pages) 25%; Reading journal 20%; Presentation 15%


Patrick Chamoiseau, Texaco; Maryse Condé, Crossing the Mangrove; Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I'm Dying; Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Cristina García, Monkey Hunting; Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place; Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Ana Lydia Vega, True and False Romances (Masks); Course reader


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