Impossible Writing in Postcolonial Literature

Month: February 2019 (Page 1 of 2)

March 8: Slave Trade and Édouard Glissant

Today we’ll be continuing our discussion on slave trade by watching “The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes” on Slate’s website (originally published through slavevoyages.org). Slate’s brief article to go along with it explains how the piece is interactive and gives a little bit of helpful background information.

Additionally, we’ll be reading a different account of slave trade by Martiniquan philosopher, novelist, and poet, Édouard Glissant. The first chapter of his book Poetics of Relation, entitled “The Open Boat”, serves as a sort of poetic introduction to his larger philosophical work. This text can be found online on our Course Reserves.

March 6: Turner and Walvin

Today, we will be discussing the difference between Philip’s rendition of Zong!, and J. M. W. Turner’s painting “Slave Ship.” The image can be found here, on the website for Boston’s Museum of Fine Art.

We will also be reading the first chapter of James Walvin’s book The Zong: A Massacre, the Law, and the End of Slavery, which can be found here on the Library’s Website. This chapter goes into the historical background surrounding both the legal case and the image.

Reminder: Reading Response 4 is due today, by the time class begins.

March 4: Library Visit

There is no new reading for today. Instead, we will meet in Woodruff Library, in room 312. Here, Phil the librarian will be introducing you to the library databases in a way that will help with your Secondary Source Review , your Annotated Bibliography, and your Research-Based Argument.

March 1: Finishing Zong!

For today’s class, you’ll be finishing Zong! The last section of poems, “Ebora”, is by far the hardest section to read (at least when it comes to visuals), so challenge yourself to 1) take note of why, when, and how it is difficult and 2) use this to see what you can grasp, despite (or beyond) these difficulties.

Importantly, your Rhetorical Analysis is due today, posted as a page to your blog by the time class begins.

February 27: Zong!

Today, we’ll be reading M. NourbeSe Philip’s Zong!, p. 99-124.

Reminder: Your Rhetorical Analysis is Due Friday, posted as a page to your blog by the time class begins. 

February 22: Peer Review

Today, two of your peers will review your rough draft of your Rhetorical Analysis. Bring two copies of your rough draft–500 words minimum–to class. If you’d like to incorporate your multi-modal element into this draft, you can, but it is not required.

February 20: Zong!

For today, we will be reading M. NourbeSe Philip’s, Zong!, p.1-56.

Take into consideration what you have learned from the “Notanda” as you read. Keeping the “Notanda” in mind might help you figure out your best theory of how to read these poems.

Reminder: Bring two copies of the rough draft of your rhetorical analysis to class on Friday (500 words minimum).

February 18: M. NourbeSe Philip

For Monday, February 18, we will begin reading Zong! by M. NourbeSe Philip. Instead of starting at the beginning, however, we will begin at the end. This is because the last section provides Philip’s framework for the text and why it is impossible to read. While your reading experience for the earlier parts of the book will most likely be disorienting, this section can serve as a tool to aid your experience of this difficulty, (hopefully) helping you to determine how you will best read this text.

Reading: M. NourbeSe Philip, Zong!, p. 187-211

Reminder: Please bring two copies of a rough draft (500 word minimum) for your Rhetorical Analysis this Friday, February 22. You are welcome to add or explain your multi-modal element to this draft, but it is not required.

In-Class Activity: In the “Notanda”, M. NourbeSe Philip generates her own theory of writing for Zong! What is her methodology, as explained by her in the “Notanda”? What must she consider as she goes about writing these poems? What are her limitations and how does she work through these? Use at least one quote from the book to support your response.

February 15: The Last Man and Theses

For Friday, February 15, we will be finishing The Last Man, which includes the, last chapter, the “Interleaves”, the author’s “Notes and Sketches”, and two letters between Albert Camus and his teacher Louis Germain.

Reminder: Bring two copies of your tentative thesis for your Rhetorical Analysis. One will be used in an activity with your peers, and one will be turned in to me. I will give it back to you next week with feedback.

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