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Caribbean Literature

ENGL 293.402
instructor(s):
MW 3-4:30

In this course we will examine a variety of texts by women authors from the English-, French-, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean. The Caribbean geographical sphere has been defined by movement. In the past, this movement included the seasonal travels of Amerindians, the forced migration of African peoples during slavery, the transport of Indian and Chinese indentured servants, and the exploits of explorers and conquerors. In more contemporary times, this movement involves tourists travelling into the region and the Caribbean migrants travelling outward to look for economic opportunities. When voluntary, Caribbean women's migration can enable women to assert an active role for themselves; they are able to determine their location and escape the potentially confining domestic sphere. Migration also serves to shape and transform women's perceptions of themselves and their communities. Using the theme of movement to guide our readings, we will address the following issues: the roles that women are expected to play within both traditional households and within the larger society; constructions of "race," "ethnicity," "gender," and "nation;" the ways in which class, gender, and race intersect; the comcept of "homeland." Texts may include: _The History of Mary Prince; No Telephone to Heaven_ by Michelle Cliff; _I Tituba, Black Witch of Salem_ by Maryse Conde; _Dreaming in Cuban_ by Christina Garcia; _Crick Crack Monkey_ by Merle Hodge; _A Small Place_ by Jamaica Kincaid; _Zami: A New Spelling of My Name_ by Audre Lord; _Wide Sargasso Sea_ by Jean Rhys; _Juletane_ by Miriam Warner-Vieyra; short stories by Edwige Danticat, Shani Mootoo, Olive Senior, and Ana Lydia Vega. All materials will be assigned in English translation.