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ES 442/542 - Caribbean Literature & Politics

Instructor: Alaí Reyes-Santos

Term: Winter 2016

This course frames Caribbean literary and cultural traditions—particularly in relation to the Caribbean diaspora in the United States and the interactions between the United States and U.S.-and non-U.S. territories in the Caribbean—within a larger context of the politics of race, class, and ethnicity in the Caribbean, engaging with concepts such as colonialism, sexuality, racism, migration, state violence, nationalism, and identity. This course approaches these subjects from an ethnic studies and cultural studies perspective, using literary texts as a principle form of engagement. Although students will be required to learn some fundamentals of literary criticism through this course, the primary approach to these texts will be as elements of larger cultural and political debates and phenomena. Our engagement with literary texts will thus proceed from an interest in their relationship to political and social events, rather than primarily from a primary concern with aesthetic criticism. This course will primarily have a seminar format, with minimal use of lecture by the professor.


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