HS The Postcolonial Paradigm



Zeit/Ort n.V.:

  • Do 16:15-17:45, Raum C 601

Voraussetzungen / Organisatorisches

Das Hauptseminar Culture gehört im BA-Studiengang English and American Studies (neu) zum Hauptmodul A.

Für BA-Studierende ist an diesen Kurs eine „Independent Study Group" angeschlossen.

Das Hauptseminar gehört in folgenden Masterstudiengängen jeweils zu folgenden Modulen:

° MA North American Studies – Culture and Literature: Modul 4,5,7,8

° MA The Americas / Las Américas: Modul 3b,4

° MA Literaturstudien – intermedial und interkulturell: Modul 4,5,7,8


Responding to the question of what she thinks of "postcolonial theory,” fiction author Adichie replied, "Postcolonial theory? I don't know what it means. I think it is something that professors made up because they needed to get jobs.” Adichie’s comments were not received well. Scholars defended the postcolonial paradigm by claiming that it was emancipatory and even maintained that the author was indebted to the discipline because for many years, postcolonial scholars have used her novels in their classes.
As Neil Lazarus has pointed out earlier, it would be "simply perverse” to claim that "the postcolonialist critique” did not unveil the "tendentiousness, chauvinism, and sheer pervasiveness” of Eurocentrism. Nevertheless, postcolonial theory has been subject to fundamental criticisms from its very inception due to its theoretical incoherence, its reliance on identity politics, the absence of a coherent object of study, and its anachronicity. Over the last decade, postcolonial scholars have therefore suggested that a new object and methodology should be found, or that the postcolonial should be abandoned altogether.
This course is organized around the question ‘is a postcolonial studies necessary and what could it entail.’ We start from an overview of what postcolonial studies is and what its aims were, and we proceed to a discussion of its criticisms—starting from the 1980s up to the present day. Subsequently, we discuss how postcolonial studies has been reimagined through those criticisms, and why it was argued that the paradigm should be abandoned. Finally, we discuss these different positions in the context of three literary works that have been considered postcolonial.

Empfohlene Literatur

Please purchase the following works before the start of the course: - Rhys, Jean. |Wide Sargasso Sea|. Penguin, 2001 [1966]. - Armah, Ayi Kwei Armah. |The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born|. Pearson 1988 [1968]. - Rushdie, Salman. |Midnight’s Children|. Vintage 2006 [1981].