E 360L • Colonial Education and Global English Literature
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
This course examines the encounter between cultures and societies during the process of colonization. Our texts are Pilipino, Nigerian, Zimbabwean, Indian, Irish, and Kenyan and their encounters are primarily with twentieth-century English and American powers as they are seen in schools, colleges, and educational networks, but also through industry, bureaucracy, police forces, and legal authorities. We will be interested in this class to ask how it is that the mind of a colonized person is shaped through the encounter with colonialism, how the language of colonialism creates patterns of subjection as well as opportunities for resistance, and why the fact of colonial education became a repeated theme in the imaginative writing produced by colonized peoples. There is one central question that this class will ask (though most of the texts will answer in the negative): does the fact that colonialism manages to educate some who would likely never have any access to education otherwise redeem it? The same question asked another way: how responsible is colonial education for the fact of nationalism and anti-colonial resistance in a colonized society? Alongside this inquiry we will map the ways that English becomes simultaneously a national and a global language.
Two Short papers, 25%; Final paper, 30%; Presentations, 25%; Course blog, 10%; Participation, 10%
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart; Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart; Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions; Mohandas Gandhi, Autobiography; James Joyce, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man; Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Decolonising the Mind; Wole Soyinka, Ake; RK Narayan, Swami and Friends; Nirad Chaudhuri, Autobiography of an Unknown Indian