Earlham College, Fall Semester 2013-2014
Tuesday, Thursday 7:00-9:30, Carpenter 322
Instructor: Ferit Güven
Office: Carpenter 328
Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday: By appointment
Office Phone: 983-1399
Course Description: After an introduction to the field of postcolonial theory we will concentrate on selected topics in this field. The main theme of our class is the problem of identity as an important strategic tool for the modern colonial project, as well as, for anti-colonial struggles. Since the constitution of a stable, self-transparent and atomistic notion of identity is one of the main conceptual devices of the colonial project, any attempt to resist colonization through the constitution of a "postcolonial identity" encounters serious conceptual problems. The hypothesis of this course is that in order to grasp and truly transform the colonial project, we need to understand the problems of identity and of being within Western philosophical thinking. The second theme of the course will be the
question of the veil. As a physical object and as a metaphor, the
veil occupies a central position within modern colonialism. By unveling its object the modern scientific knowledge contributes the colonial project. Moreover the colonial project hinges on its ability to unveil non-Western women. Yet to resist the colonial project through veiling validates the fundamental operation of this project. Therefore, rather than being opposites veling and unveling refer to a set of complicated questions concerning gender, religion, culture, feminism and finally the question of identity both as a conceptual and colonial project.
Selections from Edward Said, Orientalism, (New York: Vintage Books, 1978).
Selections from Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, (New York: Grove Press, 1963).
Selections from Frantz Fanon, Black Skin White Masks, (New York: Grove Press, 1967)
G.W.F. Hegel, "Independence and Dependence of Self-Consciousness: Lordship and Bondage" from Phenomenology of Sprit, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 111-119.
Homi Bhabha, "Interrogating Identity: Frantz Fanon and the postcolonial prerogative" from The Location of Culture, (London: Routledge, 1994), 40-65.
Homi Bhabha, "Remembering Fanon: Self, Psyche and the Colonial Condition" from Colonial Discourse and Postcolonial Theory, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 112-123.
Jacques Derrida, "The Crisis in the Teaching of Philosophy" from Who's Afraid of Philosophy?, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002), 99-116.
Gayatri Spivak, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" from Marxism and Interpretation of Culture,(Urbana-Champaign: Illinois University Press, 1988), 271-313.
Learning Goals: From General Education Requirement Goals at Earlham College
*Close and critical reading, thoughtful reflection, ready discussion and cogent writing
*Increased adeptness in thoughtfully considering texts of all sorts, whether singly or in comparison with one another
*Multiculturalism in the study of domestic and international diversity
Course Requirement and Evaluation: You are expected to write two short (5-8 page) papers and one (8-10 page) long paper. The papers will be on the texts we read in the course. I will provide paper topics for these assignments. For every paper you are responsible for following the general guidelines. (See "Comments and Suggestions for Papers").
For each week, two students will prepare a two page (single-spaced) protocol of the material discussed during the previous week. A protocol is a carefully edited summary of the previous class sessions written in full sentences. Protocols will be photocopied by the students who wrote it and handed out to all students at the beginning of each Tuesday to be read aloud, and will serve as a cumulative record of the course. The student who prepares the protocol will be required to come to class a couple of minutes early, so that the protocols will have been distributed by the beginning of the class (i.e., at 7:00). In addition to reviewing the material covered in the previous class, the protocol should include announcements made in class, questions raised, and, if possible, future questions for the material to come. The best protocols will be those that do not simply reproduce word for word everything that was said during class, but those that rearrange the material thematically, editing out what was unimportant, and emphasizing what was significant. The point of this is to allow you to think during class, and not just take notes; because someone will be taking notes for you, you can concentrate on the ideas being presented, and participate without having to write constantly. Also you will have a summary of every class which will help you with writing papers.
There will be quizzes throughout the semester to make sure that you are completing the readings in a timely manner. There will be no make-ups for the quizzes.
There will be no final examination!
Your grade will be calculated according to the following distribution: Paper I: 20%, Paper II: 20%, Final Paper: 25%, Protocol: 10%, Quizzes: 15% Class Participation and Attendance: 10%.
Class participation and attendance: Attendance and participation are important dimensions of the course and your grade. I expect you to come to class prepared and ready to participate, i.e., having read the text carefully, and ready to raise and answer questions. If you have not completed the reading for the day, you will not be able to participate in class discussions.
The success of this course depends on your attendance. If you miss 3 sessions, you will lose your entire participation grade (10%). If you miss more than 4 sessions, you will fail this course regardless of your grade.
Our sessions will start at 7:00 pm and end at 9:30 pm. Students are expected to come on time. Walking into (and out of) the classroom while the session is in progress is very disruptive for everybody. For every two late attendance (or early exit) you will be marked as absent for one class session.
You are required to bring the text (the book or photocopied material) to class, and refer to them during discussions.
Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact the instructor and Disability Services Office (Academic Support Services) at the beginning of the semester. Accommodation arrangements must be made during the first two weeks of the semester.
Calendar: The calender and the reading assigments will be posted on Moodle.
There may be some modifications to the calender. It is your responsibility to be aware of these changes. Make sure you follow these changes on Moodle.
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