Feb 21, 2024  
College Catalog 2023-2024 
    
College Catalog 2023-2024

FREN 330 - Towards a Postcolonial Pacific


This course offers a comparative introduction to postcolonial literature and some film from the Pacific region, in particular from Polynesia (Tahiti, New Caledonia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and Hawai’i). The course examines recent works by major literary figures through a postcolonial prism, and focuses on 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 colonialism and colonialist discourse in the works of prominent contemporary indigenous authors, in dialogue with current political debates in each territory. Course themes include the social and cultural effects of colonialism and imperialism on colonized peoples in Polynesia; differing conceptions of race, ethnicity and indigeneity in each country studied, and their relation to the histories of British, French and U.S. imperialism in the Pacific; the rise of indigenous nationalist movements, and the challenges they confront in an age of globalization marked by new Pacific power rivalries; 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-relationship. Authors studied may include Katherine Mansfield; Patricia Grace; Witi Ihimaera; Victor Segalen; Chantal Spitz; Titaua Peu; Célestine Vaite; Herman Melville; Lee Cataluna; Lois-Ann Yamanaka. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)