2004 is the bicentennial of the Haitian Revolution, a date that marks the establishment of the first black republic and the one successful slave rebellion in the new world. The forthcoming bicentennial points to the great similarities and differences between the Caribbean and the United States. The history of the Caribbean, like that of the United States, is a story of conquest, slavery, and revolution. Like many writers in the United States from Harriet Beecher Stowe to Toni Morrison, Caribbean writers have been haunted by a history that is as elusive as it is omnipresent. Like some of their U.S. counterparts, Caribbean writers sought to write not only the story of European conquerors and slave owners, but also the stories of the people who were conquered and enslaved. In so doing, Caribbean and U.S. writers alike have confronted the challenge of writing about people who left few written records and whose lives have often been neglected by historians or portrayed from the perspective of their antagonists, slave owners and colonists. Thus, for example, in the 1770s, Edward Long a prominent British historian and planter argued that Afro-Caribbeans were not human. A century later James Anthony Froude famously claimed of the Caribbean that there are no people there in the true sense of the word, with a character and purpose of their own. We examine the strategies Caribbean and U.S writers have used to create art from these absences and denials through an analysis of literary and historical writing. Authors will likely include: Bryan Edwards, Edward Long, James Anthony Froude, Hannah Craft, Frances Harper, Earl Lovelace, Kamau Brathwaite, Louise Erdrich, and Michel Trouillot.
Bi-weekly Journal [30 % of class grade]
You must complete four of the six Journal assignments, with #3 required for everyone. Each assignment will require responding to the readings for a two week period. I will provide one or more questions for each week of reading. These will help us to focus the class discussion by enabling all of us to prepare the same topics for discussion. The length of these responses will vary depending on the question, but I expect that all together each week will require between 1-3 pages. Check schedule for Due dates. You may turn them in via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Presentation (B) (Duration: 7 minutes): [5% of the class grade]
In this presentation, you will present the central argument of your research paper with reference to the evidence you employ. The purpose of this assignment is to give you experience of presenting your work and to provide feedback for your final project as you are in the final stages of completing it.
Longer paper (B) (10-12 pages) [23% of class grade]
This paper will also analyze the representation of history but it will compare and contrast two authors' treatment of history. This essay may use the first shorter essay. The assignment includes paper proposal which will be due 27 October. You may submit a first draft for comment. I encourage you to do this The final paper will be due December 6. No late paper will be accepted. The grades for this course are due to the registrar at noon on December 10.
Rhys, Jean Wide Sargasso Sea
Morrison, Toni. Beloved
Schafer, David. Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley
Trouillot, Michel. Silencing the Past
Carpentier, Alejo. The Kingdom of this World
Alexis, Jacques Steven. Comrade General Sun
Other materials will be on reserve or available as photocopies with the exception of :
Herbert de Lisser The White Witch of Rose Hall. You
will need to order de Lisser’s book over the internet at
You do not need Harper, Frances. Iola Leroy.
which may be among the books available at Goerings for this class.
Kingsley Plantation National Park
Academic Honesty: As a result of completing the registration form at
the University of Florida, every student has signed the following
statement: "I understand that the University of Florida expects its
students to be honest in all their academic work. I agree to adhere to
commitment to academic honesty and understand that my failure to comply with this commitment may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the University."
Copyrighted Materials and Software Use: All students are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing copyrighted material and software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.
Policy Related to Make_Up Exams or Other Work_ There are no exams for this class. However, all papers must be turned in on time. No late work will be accepted unless the student has asked for and been granted an extension at least 24 hours in advance of the deadline.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities _ Students requesting
special accommodations must first register with the Dean of Students
Office. The Dean of Students will provide documentation to the student
who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor
when requesting accommodation.
Class Demeanor Expected by Instructor _ This class has a list_serv that is used to post questions, class announcements, and responses to questions asked by your classmates. Any notice that is posted will be received by everyone on the class list_serv. Please check you email daily. Offensive or otherwise inappropriate materials (as judged by the instructor) may result in a student being droppped from the class roster.
University Counseling Services_ Resources are available on_campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals which interfere with their academic performance. These resources include:
1.University Counseling Center, 301 Peabody Hall, 392_1575, personal and career counseling;
2.Student Mental Health, Student Health Care Center, 392_1171, personal counseling;
3.Sexual Assault Recovery Services (SARS), Student Health Care Center, 392_1161, sexual counseling
4.Career Resource Center, Reitz Union, 392_1601, career
development assistance and counseling.
Journal Questions for Week 1
8/24 Brathwaite, Kamau Poem on Columbus
Library Session in Special Collections
8/26 The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus
Announcement: Please pick up a xerox copy of November 1492 in Columbus’s journal from my mailbox in the English mail room.
8/31 Columbus’s Journals more excerpts
Hulme, Peter. Chapter 1 “Columbus and the Cannibals” in Colonial Encounters (on reserve/photocopies)
Trouillot, Michel. Chapter 4 “Good day, Columbus”
9/2 Erdrich, Louise and
Michael Dorris. The Crown of Columbus
9/9 Erdrich, Louise and Michael
Dorris. The Crown of Columbus
Journal Assignment #1 Due
9/14 9:30 Tour of the Latin American
The History of Mary Prince in Classic Slave Narratives pp 249-321
9/16 Hall, Douglas. In Miserable Slavery chapters 1-3, pp 1-65 plus general introduction
9/21 Hall, Douglas. In Miserable
Slavery (Chapters 9- 11)
Kemble, Fanny. Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation (Chapters 4-26 pp 53-186 with special attention to "Psyche" )
9/23 Kemble, Fanny. Journal of a
Residence on a Georgian Plantation (St. Simon's Island 199-
Journal Assignment #2 Due
9/28 Brathwaite, Kamau. Contradictory Omens (at least parts I and III) Copies to read and returned on my office door.
9/30 (required journal assignment) Find one
text that describes Caribbeans publishd between 1770-1840. Comment on
its representation of slavery and women. Consider how Patterson
and Brathwaite might view these descriptions. I've listed a few
possibilities below. However, you are free to choose any such texts in
the UF collection. For other possibilities, see ee the
of relevant Rarebooks in the UF collection)
Mrs. C.A. Carmichael. Domestic manners and social condition of the white, coloured, and Negro population of the West Indies
Edward Long, The History of Jamaica (on reserve)
Edwards, Bryan. The history civil and commercial, of the British colonies in the West Indies.
Moreton, J.B. West India customs and manners
Stedman, John. Narrative of a five years' expedition against the revolted Negroes of Surinam
Lewis, Monk. Journal of a West India proprietor (on reserve)
Williams, Cynric. A tour through the island of Jamaica
10/5 Gone with the Wind (the film)
and Herbert de Lisser The White Witch of Rose Hall. You will
need to order de Lisser’s book over the internet at
10/7 Discussion continued.
Journal Assignment #3 Due required
10/12 Rhys, Jean Wide Sargasso Sea
Hulme, Peter “The Locked Heart” (on electronic reserve)
10/14 Rhys, Jean Wide Sargasso Sea
10/21 Morrison, Toni Beloved
Journal Assignment #4 Due
10/30 Field Trip
11/4 Jennifer Flinn Presentation
Trouillot Chapter 5
"The African Daughter"
11/11 No Class Veterans’ Day
11/18 Carpentier, Alejo. The Kingdom
of this World