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Non-Western World Literature Class Notes Week 1 (January 11-January 15, 2016)

by: Kaley Hicks

Non-Western World Literature Class Notes Week 1 (January 11-January 15, 2016) ENGL 20933

Marketplace > Texas Christian University > Foreign Language > ENGL 20933 > Non Western World Literature Class Notes Week 1 January 11 January 15 2016
Kaley Hicks
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About this Document

Class Notes for the first three days of class
Non-Western World Literature
Dr. Abunasser
Class Notes
Non-Western World Literature, Literature, world lit, english




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kaley Hicks on Monday January 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 20933 at Texas Christian University taught by Dr. Abunasser in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 72 views. For similar materials see Non-Western World Literature in Foreign Language at Texas Christian University.


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Date Created: 01/18/16
January 13, 2016 Class Notes: -Theory Article  Think of theory as a series of methodology  particular way of focusing on a text (a lens)  Interdisciplinary = across multiple disciplines  Think of theory as a series of lenses that help you construct meaning of a text  Page 4: “common sense” – engrained, socially accepted knowledge that we know to be true  Past “Common senses” – we now know earth is no longer true = earth is flat  Changing common sense is a difficult process --> theory tries to facilitate this  Social constructs= slavery (was justified socially, religiously, etc)  Theory asks us to test and re-test what we know to be common sense  Page 14- 4 main points of what theory is: it is interdisciplinary, it is speculative, it is a critique of common sense, it is reflexive  2 Theorists: Derrida (?) – dealing specifically with language  What is the smallest thing of language? To Structuralists (which is what Derrida is) it is semiotics (signs)  Problems: words (signifiers) can signify man things. Ex: the work “bark”  You need context & other signifiers  Semantic priming: setting you up to think of a certain signifier  “Identity” – potentially infinite signifiers  Moves from talking about language to talking about “what is literature?” o Some things: published, words, creative/expository  often it is someone who has told you that something is literature  High art vs. Low art and high culture vs. low culture  Sometimes assessed that if something is acknowledged as being massively population, then it is not high art o If it is more difficult to understand, it is probably considered high art  Talking about establishing a canon (the most important things to read)  Idea of canon revision: adding new things  Assumption is not to characterize everything as literature, but that we should examine from a greater aesthetic perspective  Spread of early imperial culture (British empire  eurocentricism) – idea of what is best in every cultures  Article: African flat-nosed – don’t appreciate aesthetic beauty because they push their babies’ noses down – therefore taking away the greater aesthetic beauty (freedom) is not a problem because they cannot recognize what aesthetic beauty is  How power, narrative, language, etc works – can justify injustices January 15, 2015 Class Notes: -Post Colonial Theory  Who or what is post colonial? After colonization what parts of the world? Africa  Now the answer is pretty much anyone  Post colonial theory is very broad -Ghandi Quote  Postcolonialism cant’ be defined (like theory)  no originary moment -Divergent Theory  Used by many different disciplines ; broad applications -Schools of Thought  Different ways of thinking about postcolonial theory  Heterogeneity in opinion regarding post-colonial theory -On Post-Colonial Theory  Deals with the effects of colonization on cultures and societies  Originally used by historians after the second world war in a temporal context  Since the late 1970s the term has been used by literary critics to discuss the cultural effects of colonization  The term has subsequently been used to signify the political, linguistic, and cultural experience of societies that were former European colonies  Loaded term that could mean different things to different people  Be cautious in how the term is being used in context -Powerpoint Image: From the Cape to Cairo  Calling the native barbaric  Flag “barbarism”  Image of white-dressed in white – “pure” – she’s dressed like Athena – she is the largest thing in the painting  Obvious distinction between the two groups: their weapons  Audience: who is this painted for? Europeans/English audience – a piece of propaganda  What is the artist trying to say? Colonization is good -1550-1970  1550: Beginning of exploration phase – 1800s – triangular trade  1914: World War I – very clear shifts of regional rivalries – post WWI starts to shrink -Different Perspectives  3 dominant perspectives [see powerpoint slide for the different perspectives] -Westernization  The process in which a society adopts “western” culture  This can be both voluntary and involuntary -Pedagogy  Post-colonial theory can be useful as pedagogy to frame and give a lens to help students examine a range of social and cultural phenomena: o What are the historical links to colonialism, imperialism to a national identity o How has this history impinged on social -A “Globalectical Imagination”  Talking about how to read global literature  Quote #1: Every state has placed its own literature at the center


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