French and Spanish Women Writers of the Caribbean:
Exile, Identity, and Alienation
Hours: T&R 15:00-16:00
Fax: (703) 993-1245
COURSE DESCRIPTION REQUIRED TEXTS COURSE REQUIREMENTS
COURSE OUTLINE TOWNHALL VIDEOS
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY LIST OF NOVELS FOR BOOK REVIEWS
This is a course for students interested in contemporary Caribbean literature, as well as in the social, political, historical, and cultural characteristics of the Caribbean archipelago. Throughout the course we will discover, analyze and compare different facets of the fascinating kaleidoscopic French and Spanish Antillean universe, mainly through a variety of works of fiction, essays, and drama by contemporary Francophone and Hispanophone women writers from the islands of Cuba, Guadeloupe, Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Martinique and Puerto Rico.
Their writings reveal vital insights into the history, culture, social realities, and politics of their insular societies, and in some cases into the experiences of living abroad. They are opening windows into interior spaces that are relatively absent in male authors’ writings. Concurrently, they offer us different accounts of history, cultural and national identity, private and public spaces, as well as of ethnicity, religion, class, gender, sexuality, and the act of writing. And last, but not least, they ponder, explicitly and perspectively, on the important issue of the Caribbean identity dilemma, which, as we will realize, arises from the complex historical, cultural, geographic and linguistic specificities of the Caribbean region.
Every single work of
these authors generates a rich array of insights and topics. Many are bound
by common concerns, perceptions, and practices. To facilitate our discussions
we will organize our required readings into the following major themes:
orality; the act of writing; eroticism; marginalization, oppression and
alienation; subversion; revision and demystification of history; immigration
and exile; deconstruction and reconstruction of identity. However, this
thematic classification will not prevent us from reflecting upon their
representations of patriarchy, gender roles, race, class, and last but
not least, their literary conventions. We will also consider the situation
and the role of these Caribbean women writers within their islands and/or
overseas, as well as their shared consciousness of being Antillean. In
order to cover a more comprehensive view of our topics, we will relate
our readings, as much as possible, to music, visual arts, films, documentaries,
and Caribbean cuisine, among others.
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Behar, Ruth, ed.
to Cuba/Puentes a Cuba. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan
Press,1995. (At the Bookstore)
"Island Memories: Mama N. and Mama F." (1985). Plays by
Francophone Women: A Critical Anthology. Christiane P. Makward and Judith G. Miller
eds. and trans. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1994: 45-74. (Martinique)
(At the JC Copy Center)
of Many Colors, and Nanna-ya. Trans. Nicole Ball. Lincoln: University
Nebraska Press, 1999. (Guadeloupe) (At the Bookstore)
Esteves, Carmen C.,
and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gerbert, eds. Green Cane and Juicy Flotsam:
Short Stories by Caribbean Women. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1991.
(At the Bookstore)
Dracius, Suzanne. “Sweat,
Sugar, and Blood." Trans. Doris Y.Kadish. The Whistling Bird:
Women Writers of the Caribbean. Elaine Campbell and Pierrette Frickey, eds. Boulder,
CO., and London:Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998: 193-201. (At the Copy Center, JC)
The following texts
from the literary journal Callaloo can be found online (Library
ProjectMuse: from 1995-2001 & Jstor: 1976-1994) or at Fenwick Library journal section
Alvarez, Julia. Excerpt
from In the Name of Salomé. Callaloo 23.3 (2000):
(Dominican Republic) At Fenwick, 1st floor.
---. “Doña Aída, With your Permission.” Callaloo 23.3 (2000) 821-823. At Fenwick, 1st floor.
“Doña Soza.” Excerpt from Soledad (a novel forthcoming
from Simon & Schuster).
Callaloo 23.3 (2000): 972-976. (Dominican Republic) Online, Project Muse.
“Between the Pool and the Gardenias.” The Caribbean Writer
7 (1993): 66-70.
Caribbean Writer 5: (1991):100-103.
Excerpt from Les chemins de Loco-Miroir. Trans. Jean Desquiron.
(1992): 484-489. (Haiti) Online, Jstor.
Dracius, Suzanne. “The
Virago.” Trans., Doris Y. Kadish and Jean-Pierre J. Piriou.
(1996): 143-147. (Martinique) Online, Project Muse.
“The Bitches' Colloquy. ” Trans. Rosario Ferré and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert.
Callaloo 17.3 (Summer, 1994): 889-899. (Puerto Rico) Online, Jstor.
Angeles. “Commonplaces.” Trans. Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert.
(2000): 995-998. (Dominican Republic) Online, Project Muse.
Levins Morales, Aurora. “Hurricane.” Callaloo 17.3 (1994): 804-807. (Puerto Rico) Online, Jstor.
Lugo Filippi, Carmen.
“Milagros, on Mercurio Street.” Trans. Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert.
Callaloo 17.3 (1994): 870-877. (Puerto Rico) Online, Jstor.
"Your Handsome Captain" (1987). Trans. Jessica Harris and Catherine
Temerson. Callaloo 12.1 (1989): 531-543. (Guadeloupe) Online, Jstor.
Vega, Ana Lydia. “Liliane's
Sunday.” Trans. Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert. Callaloo 17.3
(1994): 809-815. (Puerto Rico) Online, Jstor.
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Attendance in class is mandatory, as discussion, lectures and hands-on activities are essential parts of the course. You are expected to complete all readings and assigned projects, participate fully in all class activities and on-line discussions. If you miss a class, you are responsible for completing any assignments, reading, etc., prior to the next class. In this regard we expect to see a 500 word report on the readings of the day. It is necessary to be connected to the Internet, since part of the information you are going to bring to class might be downloaded from the web, and some of the discussions will be carried online through Townhall. The following assignments should be completed and submitted on time (see course outline for dates).
- 1 short oral presentation (15%) (ten minutes) on a particular topic based on the required readings (short stories, plays or narratives), the analysis of an article from the suggested reading list, or a topic of your choice related to the course after consulting with the instructor. These brief presentations, which will start around our fifth class meeting, will open our in-class discussions. You have the choice of submitting a 750-word written report of this presentation or of the mid-term.
- 1 paper (25%) (approximately 1500 words). Several topics will be suggested, but you can select your own topic after consulting with the instructor. A bibliography is suggested, but not mandatory since your work can be original. All sources or quotations should be carefully documented. Papers should be typewritten, double-spaced and should follow the guidelines of the MLA style manual. The grades will be based on content but, organization, style, grammar, mechanics, and references will also count.
-1 book review (20%) (approximately 750 words). You will have to write a short analysis of a novel by a French/Spanish Caribbean woman writer of your choice ( see suggested list of novels ). Your review should be analytical and critical, rather than descriptive. For example of book reviews, you may want to peruse some reviews published in academic literary journals. The best reviews will be recommended for publication in our own Hispanic Culture Review.
-A mid-term oral presentation (25%). A ten minute analytical presentation of a movie from the movie list or a French/Spanich Caribbean movie of your choice related to our course's topics. You have the choice of submitting a 750-word written report of this mid-term or of the "short oral presentation."
-Townhall discussions (15%). Several topics of discussion related to our readings will be posted weekly on Townhall. These questions will guide you in your readings, and prepare you for our in-class discussions. You will be required to post your opinions.
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-Dates and topics/articles
for in-class presentations
Women Writers and Orality / Oral tradition
Women Writers and Orality / Oral tradition
and the Act of Writing / Their Relationship to the Written Word
Oppression, and Alienation
Open class discussion on women and Caribbean music, and art
Exam: Analytical oral presentations
reviews due (should be posted
/ Demystification of History
and Reconstruction of Identity / Discovery of Identity
Open class discussion on visual arts, cuisine, and folk dressing and fashion
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The movies listed below can be found at the JC or at various video stores that hold an extensive foreign movie section. Due to time constraint, you will have to view them on your own. You must consider these movies as a learning experience, and not as a mere entertainment. To assist and guide you with these viewings, you will be given several questions, and topics from which we will base our in-class discussions. If you are interested in any other movie/documentary related to our course's topics, let us know.
Sugar Cane Alley. Dir. Euzhan Palcy. Perf. Légitimus, Darling, Cadenat, Carry, Sed, Douna. (1984). Johnson Center Videotapes, PN1997. S862
Strawberry and Chocolate. Dir.Tomas Gutierrez Alea, Juan Carlos Tabio. Perf. Jorge Perugorria, Vladimir Cruz, Martha Ibarra. Miramax, 1995.
Bitter Sugar. Dir. Leon Ichaso. Perf. Rene Lavan, Mayte Vilan, Miguel Gutierrez. First Look Pictures, 1997. Johnson Center Videotapes, PN1997. B532
IA-- Kuba I am Cuba. Mikhail Kalatozov, dir.Milestone film and video, 1996. JC Videotapes, PN 1997. I16 1996
Everyday Art/ Arte de cada día. María Luisa Mendonça, dir. 1994. JC Videotapes
Urban Design and Planning in Havana, Cuba: An Historical Perspective. Blacksburg, Va: Virginia Tech, 1996. JC Videotapes, NA 9152. H3. U7
“A Woman’s Place: Short Stories.” Bulfrog Films, 1995.
“Portrait of Teresa” PN1997. P6758
Map by WorldAtlas.com
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