ELS 325: CARIBBEAN LITERATURE
This course represents the literary production (oral and written) of Caribbean writers, dating back to well over two hundred and fifty years ago. The term “Caribbean Literature” is assumed to refer to the continental writing of authors of African descent/ancestry and also those of mixed ancestry. Therefore, the term is to be understood in relation to the entire oeuvre of the literature and the arts of black writers especially, in the Caribbean.
In reading these texts and in reference to others, part of the subject of interpretative discourse will be the tropes of identity and journeying, the notion of the outsider and the interface of the construction of the ‘Self’ and the ‘Other’.
The course is organized in two parts: (a) Modular lectures, and (b) Seminars, involving individual review of recommended texts.
The course involves readings of the historical forces and catalysts responsible for the creation of the unique body of literature known variously as “Caribbean Literature” and/or “West Indian Literature”. The historical condition of slavery, its aftermath and consequences, and the fusion of African heritage with the Caribbean experience, have been noted as the significant basis of the body of literature known as “Caribbean Literature”.
The main matters for reflection includes issues of representations and identities in the major genres of contemporary Caribbean literary tradition, as well as the cultural and aesthetic imagination of the Caribbean author through a study of particular narrative, poetic and dramatic forms.