OBJECTIVETo explore the Caribbean’s tension
between fragmentation and common destiny, with special attention to its history
(colonial legacies and plantation complex), power relations (race, gender,
ethnicity), construction and performance of identities (e.g. carnival, tourism
and music), diasporas and migration, and economic challenges (global markets).
1. Oral Presentation, 20%
Each student will present a polished 12 to 15-minute
presentation of their research findings during our one-day symposium “Insularity
and Integration: Recent Trends on Caribbean Scholarship,” on December
3, 2004 in Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union.
To prepare and gain confidence for this presentation, students will work with
Kerry McDonald, an expert consultant on oral communication skills. This work,
which offers a good foundation for future job and scholarly presentations in
various careers, will be carried out in two steps: an initial workshop
on how to structure an effective presentation in formal settings on Thursday,
November 18, 5-7pm, (location to be announced), conducted by Kerry McDonald;
presentation “Dry Run” during the week of November 29 where students
will present their symposium presentations to their peers outside of class. Peers
and a “Student Facilitator” who has been working with Kerry’s
oral communications program will provide feedback for each presentation. The
specific scheduling and location for this dry run will be determined at a later
date. Attendance at both Kerry’s initial workshop and the “dry
run” sessions is required.
2. Paper Research Process, 15%
- Topic Description (1 paragraph) – September 22
- Preliminary Bibliography – October 6
- Thesis Statement and Paper Outline – October 20
- Final Draft – November 3
3. Term Research Paper, 45%
- Final version due: Reading Period.
4. Class Participation and Discussion, 20%
Class participation is absolutely essential to the success
of a seminar. Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the
TEXTS AND FILMS
• Knight, Franklin. The Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented
• Danticat, Edwindge. After the Dance. New York:
Crown Journeys, 2002.
• Articles and excerpts on E-Reserve (listed for each class below).
• Films on Reserve at the Language Media Center (room reserved
for showings listed below).
COURSE SCHEDULE September
8 – Introduction. Wells and Yepes.
a. Course introduction: syllabus, faculty, students, and course structure.
b. Introduction to the Caribbean’s geography and terminology, overview
of problems and theses to be examined throughout the semester.
15 – Travel, Migrations, Collisions. Yepes.
An overview of the course’s
main themes: political, economic, social and cultural tensions and the Caribbean’s
common trajectory and destiny.
Film: Stephanie Black’s Life and Debt. Screening:
September 12, 7pm.
1) Derek Walcott’s Nobel Address: http://www.nobel.se/literature/laureates/1992/walcott-lecture.html
2) Vega, Ana Lydia. “Cloud
Cover Caribbean.” (1982) Rhythm & Revolt: Tales of the Antilles.
Ed. Marcela Breton. New York: Penguin, 1995. 1-6. [e-reserve]
22 – The Modern Experiment (colonial legacies). Wells.
Examination of competing rivalries in the Caribbean and the rise of the sugar-slave-plantation
Readings: Knight’s: skim Chapters 1-3; read Chapters 4-5.
29 – Haiti’s 200th Anniversary; 150th Anniversary of Abolition
of Slavery in French Colonies.
This session will reflect on the ideologies of commemoration and the writing
of history. As the French historian Henry Rousso asserts, any official commemoration
is also an institutionalization of forgetting. In the light of two Caribbean
anniversaries, we will explore how the representation of the past is linked
to a desired perception and justification of the present. We will do so by
analyzing the conceptual and ideological preconceptions of three chronologies
and by discussing a film on the slave trade produced for the 150th Anniversary
of the abolition of slavery in the French colonies.
Film: Guy Deslauriers Le Passage du milieu. Screening:
September 26, 7pm.
David Geggus. «The Haitian Revolution» in The Modern Caribbean,Franklin
W. Knight and Colin A. Palmer eds. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina
Press, 1989. 21-50.
Michel-Rolph Trouillot Silencing the Past. Power and the Production of
History. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995. 31-55; 66-69; 70-74 and 95-107.
Chronology of the Slave Trade
Chronology of Caribbean Events
«Milestones in our Attempts to Conquer the City» in Patrick Chamoiseau Texaco.
New York: Pantheon Books, 1997. 3-6.
6 – Nation Building and State Formation. Wells and Yepes.
of the breakdown of colonial rule, from the nineteenth century to the present.
Reading: Knight’s Chapters 8-10.
13 – Construction of Identities. Vété-Congolo.
Is there a Caribbean identity? What is it? How and by whom is it expressed?
This session offers an introduction to the processes by which a number of
intellectuals, artists and writers have addressed these questions. We will
examine the regional, international, socio-political and ideological contexts
for the emergence of a consciousness about the Caribbean identity and analyze
some literary excerpts from representative writers such as Trinidad’s
V.S. Naipul, St. Lucia’s Derek Walcott, and Martinique’s Aimé Cesaire.
Knight, Franklin. “The British and French West Indies, 1870-1980.”
Walcott, Derek. What the Twilight Says.
Césaire, Aimé. Return to My Native Land.
VS Naipaul. A House for Mr. Biswa.
20 – Construction of Identities. Dauge-Roth.
Two different approaches to Caribbean identities. Through the reading of two
short-stories by Maryse Condé, we will explore how the writing and
rewriting of identity is contingent on elected genealogies, trajectories
and encounters. Any attempt to reify, centralize or define Creole identity
once and for all is, therefore, doomed to fail. We will also explore, through
the philosophical text of Edouard Glissant, the ethical, cultural and economical
implications of a relational conception of identity.
Édouard Glissant Poetics of Relation. Ann Arbor: The University
of Michigan Press, 1997. 133-57 and 189-194.
a) “Lands of Many Colors,” in Lands of Many Colors & Nanna-Ya (Lincoln:
University of Nebraska Press, 1999), 5-71.
b) “Three Women in Manhattan,” in Green Cane and Jucy Flotsam.
Short Stories by Caribbean Women. Carmen C. Esteves and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gerbert
eds. (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1991), 56-67.
27 – Contemporary Caribbean Integration and Development. Meardon.
1. Caribbean integration, intra-regional and inter-regional
a. The WTO. Readings:
1) Finnegan, William. 2000. “After Seattle:
Anarchists get Organized.” The New Yorker, April 17, pp. 40-51.
Elected the WTO?” The Economist, Sept. 27, 2001.
Bhagwati, Jagdish. 2002. “The Poor’s Best Hope.” The
Economist, June 20.
b. The Caribbean. Readings:
1) Jenkins Jr., Holman
W. 1999. “Yes, We Have No Banana Policy (Can We Borrow Yours?)” The
Wall Street Journal, Feb. 10, p. 1.
Helene. 1999. “Curdish War: Why Does U.S. Pick On Pecorino in Flap With
EU on Bananas?” The Wall Street Journal, March 1, p. A1.
Helene. 2001. “U.S. EU End Trans-Atlantic Banana War.” The
Wall Street Journal, April 12, p. A2.
Janet, Esther Suss, and Stephen Tokarick. 2000. “Trade Liberalization
in the Caribbean.” Finance and Development 37(2): 22-25.
2. Caribbean development problems: a case study of the IMF and DR
a. The IMF. Readings:
1) Stiglitz, Joseph. 2000. “What
I Learned at the World Economic Crisis.” The New Republic, April
17 & 24, pp.56-60. (4 pp.)
2) Rogoff, Kenneth. 2003. “The
IMF Strikes Back.” Foreign Policy 134, pp. 38-46. Repr. online
b. The Dominican Republic. Readings:
1) “Swindled: A Bank
Fraud Leaves Unanswered Political Questions.” The Economist,
June 12, 2003.
2) “A Spectacular Fall From Grace: An Incompetent
Government and a Tricky Choice for the IMF.” The Economist,
December 11, 2003.
3) “Let Them Play Baseball: A President’s
Desperate Devices.” The Economist, February 12, 2004.
Canto, Victor. 2004. “Bad Policies Spur a Dominican Republic Exodus.” The
Wall Street Journal, February 27, p. A9. Available online via ProQuest: http://proquest.umi.com/login.
Fight for Democracy.” The Economist, May 11, 2004.
and Ride: Electoral Bribes May Not Save Mejía.” The Economist,
May 13, 2004.
7) “Sweat and Tears: Can the New President
Turn Around a Tottering Economy?” The Economist, August 19,
8) Dominican Republic. 2004. “Letter of Intent,
Supplementary Memorandum of Economic Policies, and Technical Memorandum of
Understanding.” Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund, January
23. Repr. online at http://www.imf.org/external/np/loi/2004/dom/01/index.htm.
(23 pp. + 4 tables).
9) International Monetary Fund. 2004. “IMF
Completes First Review of the Dominican Republic’s Stand-By Arrangement,
Approves US$66 Million Disbursement, and Grants Waivers.” Press Release
No. 04/23. Washington, DC: IMF, February 11. Repr. online at http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2004/pr0423.htm.
3 – Gender Dilemmas. Van Vleet.
Film: La operación.
Dir. Ana María García. 40 min. To be seen in class.
Reading: Excerpts from Laura
Briggs, Reproducing Empire (Berkelely: U of California
10 – Multiple Diasporas. Cueto-Asín
We will examine
texts (essays, and documentary and fictional films) that deal with Cuban immigration
to 1) observe how they represent the experiences of this specific group in
different ways; and 2) identify the characteristics that Cubans share with
other Caribbean immigrant communities.
Excerpt from Gustavo Pérez Firmat, Life on the Hyphen: The
Cuban-American Way (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994). .
Cosas que dejé en La Habana. Dir. Manuel Gutiérrez
Aragón. Screening on November 7,
Balseros. Dirs Carles Bosh y Josep M. Doménech. Screening
on November 8, 7pm.
17 – Identity Performance. Bosse, Dauge Roth.
The social and cultural
role carnival plays in Haiti as represented in the novel of Edwige Danticat
who, after having immigrated to New York at age 12, attends a carnival in Jacmel
for the first time in her life. Her novel, written as a journal, will introduce
us to how Haitian Identity politics is played out through Carnival preparation.
Reading: Edwidge Danticat After the Dance. A Walk through Carnival
in Jacmel, Haiti. (New York: Crown Publisher, 2002).
8 – Retrospect and Prospect. Wells and
1 – Performances (Music).Bosse.
An exploration of the international popularity of Caribbean music, focusing
on how the world beat industry has capitalized on music’s ability to
construct notions of “place,” and a discussion of the ramifications
these processes have on local perceptions of self and nation.
Readings: Patria Román-Velázquez, “Locating
Salsa,” and Jocelyne Guilbault, “The Politics of Calypso in a
World of Music Industries,” both in Popular Music Studies,
eds., David Hesmondalgh and Keith Negus (New York: Oxford University