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Caribbean Women Writers cancelled

ENGL 260.401
instructor(s):
MW 5-6:30

This course serves as an introduction to some of the women writers of the Caribbean. It is a sociological truism that in all the language areas of the archipelago, the gendered realities of post-plantation societies meant that the early etchings of a "literary tradition" came from the pens of men. The course bears this out, in part, by beginning with the writers of the early part of the twentieth century who sought to "get the Caribbean on the page." We then ask, is there a particularly gendered relationship to writing, that this first generation of writers exhibits? Is our general understanding of the source of the artistic impulse and the power of authorship a masculinist one that reenforces an idea of creativity as a male enterprise, one which implicitly assumes art and authorship to mean marking, and thereby claiming, the "virgin territory" of the blank page? What is the Caribbean woman writer's relationship to this paradigm? What does it mean to be a "woman writer" taking into account the role/experiences of women in these (post)plantation societies? If one were to make the assertion that the paradigms for writing that underscore the Caribbean "tradition" are masculinist, then what new paradigms ought we/can we come up with to more fully grasp the art of the women writers? Ought one to use the moniker "Feminist?" or "Womanist?" or.....?. We will read, among others, Mayra Montero Maryse Conde Edwidge Danticat, Julia Alvarez, Esmerelda Santiago, and Rosario Ferre. There will be an oral presentation, a short paper (5-6 pages) and a longer seminar paper of 12-15 pages at the end of the term.