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& POST-COLONIALISMS /
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Description: In this course, we will begin (Foundation Week: Semiotics) by exploring the radical implications of Saussure’s critique of traditional models of signification for conventional conceptions of cultural identity, linguistic representation, and self-expression. We will then read and discuss seminal essays representative of the following Post-Structuralist schools of thought:
In each module, we will begin by exploring the philosophical framework of the school in question before investigating its central critical concepts and main interpretative strategies. In each module, we will also compare key (Post-)Structuralist essays with seminal essays by Feminist, Post-colonial, and African American theorists on the same topic in order to show how many of the latter have also engaged with Saussurean and post-Saussurean notions of ‘difference’ in an effort to rethink the dominant ways in which patriarchal, colonial and post-colonial cultural phenomena and practices have come to be conceptualised. For example, we might compare Bakhtin's "Discourse in the Novel" with a chapter from Gates's The Signifying Monkey entitled "Figures of Signification."
Last but not least, through close examination of practical illustrations of these theories (especially with reference to Post-colonial literatures), students will be encouraged to apply the paradigms discussed in their own critical writings.
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