ELL5030F LITERATURE AND MODERNITY I: Modernity, Globalization and Postcoloniality

Course Convenors: H Garuba and K Mkhize

Course Description:
Part 1: Issues of modernity and postcoloniality. This section of the course focuses on the self-constitution of Modernity and its Other, constructed in binary relations, such as the pre-modern, the traditional, the primitive and so on. The course explores this through the categories of Reason and Subjectivity, Time and Space, and the Normative Body and then examines the relationship between modernity, colonialism and post colonialism. This section covers the first phase of post-independence.
Part 2: Questions of migration, gender and globalisation. In this section we reflect on what diaspora offers to a conceptualisation of Africa and consider how it complicates the dichotomy of ‘home’ versus ‘elsewhere’. How does an Africa that is ‘everywhere’ help us to rethink the familiar categories of cultural studies and how might this ‘Africa’ extend the framework of postcolonialism? We begin by examining some key theoretical texts on race, migration and gendered relations of power. In turning to the novels, we consider how diasporic writing both invokes and complicates familiar categories of identification and the systems of thought associated with ‘modernity’. In both sections of the course we will examine critical readings in order to develop conceptual tools for reading primary texts by African writers.