Literature from the Global South: Narratives of Placement and "Dis-placement"
In this class we will read, write, watch and think together about narratives that deal with the theme of placement and "dis-placement" in literature from different sites in the Global South in the late 20th century. Since this is a writing class, our emphasis will be on working together to find avenue for expressing yourselves in writing about these topics. Situating the question of placement and "'dis-placement" within multiple historical and cultural contexts in different sites in the Southern hemisphere, location of much of the "developing world," including the Middle East and North-Africa, Central and Latin America, the Caribbean, the African-Diaspora and the US-Mexico borderland, we will try to shed light on the distance between Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish and, say, French Caribbean poet Aimé Césaire. This will lead us to ask further questions, such as: What distinguishes exiles from Diaspora? What constitutes ―dis-placement‖? How do the experiences of up-rootedness and forced migration among Palestinian refugees and Mexican migrant workers (within Mexico and the US; with or without documents) inform our notion of home and belonging? How do the legacy of French colonialism in North Africa and the rise of globalization in Latin America, for example, shed light on the ongoing massive immigration of subjects from the Global South to the North? Closely reading works of drama, poetry, and prose—as well as anthropology and film—you will thus be asked to critically interrogate these questions with a serious reflection on notions of indigeneity, home, migration and return, difference, resistance, borders, hybridity, internal colonialism, margins, and contact periods.