Raj G Chetty
Critical interpretation and meaning in works of prose fiction, representing a variety of types and periods.
This course will examine 20th Century Caribbean prose fiction--novels, novellas, and short stories--from the English-, Spanish-, and French-speaking regions of the Caribbean. In focusing on Caribbean fiction, this course will explore how these representations engage with historical, political, economic, and environmental issues in the region and in its global presence. We will examine texts from throughout the century, and all works will be read in English.
Additionally, the course will explore how a U.S.-based readership can engage with Caribbean literature produced in a region important to the history of the Americas. This engagement is three-part: 1) immersing ourselves critically in the texts under study, 2) understanding the cultural and historical context of their production, and 3) engaging with the Caribbean's literary production in relation to us as readers who inhabit the large next-door neighbor to the region.
Student learning goals
Students are able to contextualize and analyze the materials or topics covered, historically, politically, culturally.
Students are able to perform competent close readings of course texts and similar texts.
Students improve their writing skills generally, and with regard to writing about literature and culture.
Students gain and/or build on basic research traditions and skills. Students develop more familiarity with library resources and electronic or on-line media may be critical to their improvement.
General method of instruction
Small and large group discussion, with a little bit of lecture. Writing workshops.
It is recommended that you have already completed the University's Composition (C) requirement.
Class assignments and grading
As a "W" course, this one carries a specific writing focus: 10-15 pages of graded, out-of-class writing, in the form of three short papers (2-3 pages) and one longer paper (5-7 pages). The purpose of this writing is not to demonstrate mastery--of the region, of its literature--but to help engage with the texts and their and our contexts. Writing for this course has both a formal (as mentioned above) and informal place, but in both cases is a place to explore meanings, connections, and ideas. As such, all of the formal course writing will involve substantial peer and instructor feedback, and substantial revision, and all of the informal writing will help both discussion and development of the formal writing assignments. There will also be a small group presentation required.
Grades will be determined based on two parts: 1) Participation (30%), including in-class discussions based on completed reading, completion of informal writing and other assignments, the group presentation, and timely completion of the formal writing assignments, drafts and revisions. 2) The quality of the four formal writing assignments (70%), based on the writing goals listed above and rubrics developed for the class.