SoSe 16: S-Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures: Postcolonial Studies II: Literature Beyond the Nation
Kai Martin Wiegandt
Since Homi Bhabha’s The Location of Culture (1994), postcolonial theory has criticized the nation-form as an exclusionary structure increasingly outmoded in times of cultural mobility and hybridity. ... read more
Since Homi Bhabha’s The Location of Culture (1994), postcolonial theory has criticized the nation-form as an exclusionary structure increasingly outmoded in times of cultural mobility and hybridity. Heterogeneous populations complicate the national situation still more because immigrants introduce ambivalence to the imagined community of a supposedly homogeneous nation. Arjun Appadurai’s influential Modernity at Large (1996) also suggested that culture has superseded the nation as provider of communal ties, and that culture can transcend borders and create a potentially global community. In this seminar we will read 21st century novels to assess whether they (still) reflect the stance articulated by Bhabha and Appadurai. We will focus on Anita Desai’s Fasting, Feasting, V. S. Naipaul’s Half a Life, Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia and Teju Cole’s Open City.
Participants will have to read critical essays in addition to the assigned texts (the criticism will be made available on Blackboard). Regular attendance (no more than two missed classes), the writing of weekly response papers and a presentation are obligatory. Credits can be acquired by submitting a paper on a specialised topic. English is spoken in class. Your language skills should be at the C1 level or higher according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
Students are required to buy the following books:
Desai, Anita. Fasting, Feasting. London: Vintage, 2000.
Naipaul, V. S. Half a Life. New York: Picador, 2011.
Hamid, Mohsin. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. New York: Riverhead, 2014.
Cole, Teju. Open City. London: Faber & Faber, 2012.