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

Fall 2004

E 379N • Caribbean Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
33185 MWF
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
PAR 308

Course Description


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

Two short papers (4 pages each) 40%
Final critical essay (8-10 pages) 25%
Reading responses 20%
Attendance/class participation 15%


Julia Alvarez, In the Time of the Butterflies
Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World
Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land
Maryse Condé, Crossing the Mangrove
Edwidge Danticat, Farming of Bones
Cristina García, Monkey Hunting
Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place
George Lamming, In the Castle of My Skin
Earl Lovelace, Salt
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro
Course reader


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