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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Laurie J Sears
HIST 498
Seattle Campus

Colloquium in History

Each seminar examines a different subject or problem. A quarterly list of the seminars and their instructors is available in the Department of History undergraduate advising office.

Class description

In this seminar with limited enrollment we will be reading a selection of novels about Asia written by Asian and European authors. We will focus on the literatures of the colonial and postcolonial periods in French Indochina and the Dutch East Indies. We will use Freud's study of the language of dreams to interpret the novels. This theoretical approach should help us to understand the aesthetic and ideological positioning of the novels and how they work to reinforce or shape our ideas about violence, haunting and intimacy. Ideas that appear again and again in these books include varied notions of loss, "tradition," modernity, and nostalgia.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Students are expected to participate actively in class discussion and to listen to their fellow students.

Recommended preparation

One class in Southeast or South Asian history, politics, language, or anthropology or related familiarity with the region. May be waived by permission of instructor.

Class assignments and grading

This is a writing class. There are three short papers due in weeks 3, 5, and 8. One of these papers will then be turned into a 10 page final paper. Papers will cover assigned readings and materials presented in class.

Grades are assigned on the basis of participation in class discussion and the creativity and insightfulness of the written assignments.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Laurie J Sears
Date: 01/25/2006