Summer 2021 Silence, Exile, and Cunning

JWST 15.01/AAAS 65.05/MES 16.39/COLT 51.05:

Silence, Exile, and Cunning: Comparing Jewish and African Diasporic Literatures

Professor Marc Caplan

Time: J

W Cult: NW Dist: LIT
No prerequisites

The diasporic subject is by definition a dislocated subject. This dislocation manifests itself not only with respect to space, but also in relationship to history, language, political power, and above all in the psychological relationship that diasporic subjects maintain with themselves. This course will focus on two primary examples of diaspora in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Jews and Africans, to examine the multiplicity of relationships among language, literary structure, as well as gender and sexuality that inform the construction of diasporic literatures. Although this course cannot be comprehensive in its survey of either Jewish or African literatures, it will offer suggestive juxtapositions of the two to emphasize commonalities between their historical and political experience. It will also explore how the once exceptional condition of diaspora increasingly has become representative for more and more people in the world today.