Humanities 2310 0a an Introduction to Caribbean Studies a founders College Foundations Course Course Directors: Patrick Taylor

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An Introduction to Caribbean Studies
A Founders College Foundations Course
Course Directors: Patrick Taylor


416-736-2100 ext. 33320

Office Hours: Wed. 3:30-4:20; Fri. 9:30-10:20
Maxine Wood

259 Vanier College

416-736-2100 ext. 77380

Office Hours: Wed. 2:30-3:20; Fri. 11:30-12:20
Teaching Assistants: Tanita Muneshwar
Frank Scherer
Course Secretary: Carolin Potter

207 Vanier College

416-736-2100 ext. 77014

Office Hours: Mondays - Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.




Course Description:
This course introduces students to the major cultural characteristics of the contemporary Caribbean in its global context through an examination of the work of scholars, writers, and artists of the region and its diaspora. The course uses lectures, films and readings (scholarly works, novels, short stories, poems, song lyrics and other texts) to explore the historical roots and contemporary manifestations of the struggles for independence and national identity in the region. The course also examines the role of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality in the negotiation of individual and collective identities. The course is pan-Caribbean in perspective but emphasizes the experiences of the Anglophone Caribbean and its diaspora.
Learning Objectives:
1. Scholarly Content

The principal objective of this course is to enable students to understand and appreciate the complexity of Caribbean peoples and cultures from an interdisciplinary humanities perspective. In the process, students are expected to gain an understanding of colonialism and the post-colonial experience as they relate to the contemporary world. Students will be better able to appreciate both cultural diversity and the underlying human values that characterize global life today.
2. Transferable Critical Skills

This course is a second-year foundations course. As such, its goals include enhancing the ability of students to think critically about their world and how it is represented. In addition, the course aims to strengthen the capacity of students to read and analyze texts critically, pursue advanced scholarly research using library and Internet resources, write clearly and persuasively, and present their ideas orally in interesting and convincing ways.
Lecture: Wednesdays 12:30-2:30 p.m., SLH A
01 Wednesday 4:30-6:30 McLaughlin College 111

02 Friday 12:30-2:30 Ross N146

03 Thursday 4:30-6:30 TEL 1016

04 Wednesday 4:30-6:30 McLaughlin College 112

05 Friday 8:30-10:30 McLaughlin College 109

06 Friday 10:30-12:30 Founders College 108
Required Readings:

*Shani Mootoo, Cereus Blooms at Night

Course Kit (Volume I, Fall 2012)

Course Kit (Volume II, Winter 2013)
The book to be purchased is marked with an asterisk () on the course outline. Other readings are available in two duplicated course kits to be purchased from the York University Bookstore, and song lyrics, which will be provided.

Although most films will be shown during lectures, some may not be licensed for classroom use and students may have to borrow them directly from the Scott Moving Image Library.

Course Evaluation
Essay # 1 5% October 3, 2012

Essay # 2 10% November 7, 2012

Mid-Term Test 10% November 28, 2012

First Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography 10% January 30, 2013

Research Essay 20% March 20, 2013

Oral Presentation 10%

Tutorial Participation 10%

Final Exam 25% To Be Announced

The research essay will not be accepted without an annotated bibliography submitted within the set deadline.

Enrolment and Drop Deadlines
Last date to enroll without permission of the instructor: September 19, 2012
Last date to enroll with permission of the instructor: October 23, 2012
Last date to drop course without receiving a grade: February 15, 2013

Humanities 2310 9.0A — 2012/2013

An Introduction to Caribbean Studies
Lectures and Readings
Term I

Week 01. September 5

Introduction to the Course

Week 02. September 12

The Caribbean: Context and Approach

Film: Life and Debt

Gordon K. Lewis, “The Sociohistorical Setting”

Stuart Hall, “Negotiating Caribbean Identities”

Mighty Gabby, “Jack” (song)

Week 03. September 19

Oral Tradition and Orality

Film: Talk and More Talk

Rex Nettleford, “Communication with Ourselves: The Caribbean Artist and Society”

Edward Kamau Brathwaite, “History of the Voice”

Louise Bennett, “Me Bredda” and “Bans a Killing” (poems)

Bob Marley, “Redemption Song” (song)

Mighty Duke, “What is Calypso” (song)

Week 04. September 26

Indigenous Cultures

Film: Indigenous Survivors

Irving Rouse, “Introduction” to The Tainos

“The First Missionary: Raymond Breton (1647)” and “Jean Baptiste Labat: A Sojurn in Dominica (1722)” (missionary sources)

Week 05. October 03


European Expansion and Indigenous Resistance

Film: The Sword and the Cross

Hilary Beckles, “Kalinago Resistance”

Garnette Joseph, “Five Hundred Years of Indigenous Resistance”

José Barreiro, “Survival Stories”

Mutabaruka, “Columbus Ghost” (poem)
Week 06. October 10

The Atlantic Trade

Film: Ship of Slaves: Middle Passage

Joseph Inikori, “The Slave Trade and the Atlantic Economies, 1451-1870”

Eric Williams, “The Origin of Negro Slavery”

Week 07. October 17

Plantation Society

Film: Iron in the Soul (selection)

Vincent Bakpetu Thompson, “The Plantation Hierarchy”

Barbara Bush, “White ‘Ladies,’ Coloured ‘Favourites’ and Black ‘Wenches’

Edward Kamau Brathwaite, “Creolization”
Week 08. October 24

Resistance and Rebellion

Gordon K. Lewis, “The Anti-Slavery Ideology”

Verene Shepherd, “‘Petticoat Rebellion?’: the Black Woman’s Body and Voice in the Struggles for Freedom in Colonial Jamaica”


Week 09. November 07


Feature Film: The Last Supper

Week 10. November 14


Film: Iron in the Soul (selection)

Bridget Brereton, “Society and Culture in the Caribbean”

Woodville K. Marshall, “‘We Be Wise to Many More Tings’: Black Hopes and Expectations of


Olive Senior, “Window” (short story)

Jean Rhys, “Our Gardener” (poem) and Wide Sargasso Sea (selection)

Week 11. November 21


Film: Worlds Apart

Kusha Haraksingh, “Aspects of the Indian Experience in the Caribbean”

Rhoda Reddock, “Indian Women and Indentureship in Trinidad and Tobago 1845-1917”

Walton Look-Lai, “Life and Labor on the Plantations: The Chinese”

Cheddi Jagan, “Growing Up” (autobiography)

Week 12. November 28


Term II

Week 1. January 9

Haiti: Revolution and Independence

Film: Out of Africa (selection)

Michel-Rolph Trouillot, “Culture, Colour and Politics”

Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, “The Context of Haitian Development and Underdevelopment”

Edwidge Danticat, “Children of the Sea” (short story)

David Rudder, “Haiti” (song)

Week 02. January 16

The French Caribbean: Political Integration and Cultural Identity

Film: La Grande Illusion

Justin Daniel, “The Construction of Dependency”

Frantz Fanon, “West Indians and Africans”

Aimé Césaire, “An Interview”

Léon Damas, “Bargain” “Hiccup” “Just Like the Legend”

Week 03. January 23

The Hispanic Caribbean: The Myth of Whiteness

Film: Paradise Lost

Michiel Baud, “Constitutionally White: The Forging of a National Identity in the Dominican


Silvio Torres-Saillant, “Colonial Migration and Theoric Awakening”

Ana Lydia Vega, “The Day it all Happened” and “Port-au-Prince Below” (short stories)

Week 04. January 30


Cuba: Race, Nation and Revolution

Film: Havana Kids

José Martí, “Our America”

Franklin Knight, “Cuba: Politics, Economy and Society”

Nancy Morejón, “Race and Nation” and “Grounding the Race Dialogue: Diaspora and Nation”

Nicolás Guillén, “I Came on a Slave Ship” (poem)

Week 05. February 6

The Anglophone Caribbean: Nationalism and Independence

Film: Shades of Freedom

C.L.R. James, “From Toussaint L’Ouverture to Fidel Castro”

Percy Hintzen, “Race and Creole Ethnicity in the Caribbean

Louise Bennett, “Dear Departed Federation” and “Independence” (poems)

Short Shirt, “Illusion” (song)

Buju Banton, “Untold Stories” (song)

Mighty Sparrow “Federation”

Week 06. February 13

Africa and Identity

Film: Out of Africa (selection)

Marcus Garvey, “Africa for the Africans,” and “Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World.”

Walter Rodney, “Black Power—Its Relevance to the West Indies”

Martin Carter, “I Come From the Nigger Yard” (poem)

Walcott, “A Far Cry From Africa” (poem)

Louise Bennett, “Back to Africa” (poem)

Chalkdust, “They ent see Africa at all” (song)

Bob Marley, “Africa Unite” (song)


Week 07. February 27

India, Mixed Identities and Pluralism

Film: Coolie, Pink and Green

Novel: Cereus Blooms at Night

V.S. Naipaul, “A Resting Place for the Imagination”

John La Guerre, “Issues Facing the East Indian Community”

Rhoda Reddock, “‘Douglarisation’ and the Politics of Gender Relations in Contemporary Trinidad and Tobago”

Dougla, “Split me in two” (song)

Brother Marvin, “Jahaji Bhai”

Tony Wong, “Untitled” (autobiography)

Week 08. March 06

Religion, Festivals and Art

Film: Community Celebration

Novel: Cereus Blooms at Night

Leslie Desmangles, Stephen Glazier & Joseph Murphy “Religion in the Caribbean”

Veerle Poupeye, “Popular Religion, the Festival Arts and the Visionary”

Week 09. March 13

Gender and Sexuality

Film: The Darker Side of Black

Novel: Cereus Blooms at Night

Patricia Mohammed, “The ‘Creolization’ of Indian Women in Trinidad and Tobago”

Cecil Gutzmore, “Casting the First Stone: Policing of Homo/Sexuality in Jamaican Popular


Edwidge Danticat, “Night Women” (short story)

Rajandaye Ramkisson-Chen, “When the Hindu Woman Sings Calypso” (poem)

Week 10. March 20


Negotiating Gender in Popular Culture

Feature Film: Dance Hall Queen

Sonjah Niah & Donna Hope “Canvasses of Representation: Stuart Hall, the Body and Dancehall Performance”

Natasha Barnes, “Body Talk: Notes on Women and Spectacle in Contemporary Trinidad

Week 11. March 27

Diaspora and Globalization

Film: Jane Finch Again

Elizabeth Thomas-Hope, “Globalization and the Development of a Caribbean Migration


Annemarie Gallaugher, “Constructing Caribbean Culture in Toronto”

Dionne Brand, “Going Home” (short story)

Austin Clarke, “The Discipline” (short story)

Louise Bennett, “Colonization in Reverse” (poem)

Week 12. April 03


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