May 21, 2024  
College Catalog 2019-2020 
College Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

FREN 330 - Towards a Postcolonial Pacific

This course is a comparative introduction to postcolonial literature (and some film) from the Pacific region, in particular from the so-called “Polynesian Triangle.” The course examines recent works by major literary figures through a postcolonial prism, and focuses on literary representations of the political and social legacy of colonialism in these territories. For each country studied, we begin with a brief historical review of colonization in dialogue with a text written by a colonial visitor or settler. We then examine resistance to dominant colonialist discourse in the works of prominent contemporary “indigenous” authors, in dialogue with current political debates in each territory. Course themes include differing conceptions of race, ethnicity and indigeneity in each country, and their relation to the histories of British, French and U.S. imperialism in the Pacific; the rise of indigenous nationalist movements, and the question as to whether political independence defined in ethnic terms remains a feasible goal in an era of globalization; questions of language in a Pacific space still dominated by its colonial division into distinct “Anglonesian” and “Franconesian” spheres; and the island as a unit of political organization as opposed to alternative pan-Oceanic conceptions of inter-relation. Authors studied include Katherine Mansfield; Patricia Grace; Witi Ihimaera; Victor Segalen; Chantal Spitz; Célestine Vaite; Herman Melville; Mark Twain; Lee Cataluna; Lois-Ann Yamanaka. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)