LIT 4192/Section 9116 Anglophone Caribbean Literature: Its History
Instructor: Leah Rosenberg
W 6-8 ( 12:50 -3:50 pm) TUR 2336 Office:4363 Turlington Hall
Office Hours: Monday 9-11; Tuesday 10-12
Office phone: 392 6650 ext. 238
class website: http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/rosenber/
In The Pleasures of Exile,
his 1960 analysis of anglophone Caribbean
culture, George Lamming asserted that the emergence of “a dozen or so
novelists in the British Caribbean... between 1948 and 1958” was one of
the three most important historical developments in the region, the
other two being “the discovery” of the Americas and the abolition of
slavery and the subsequent importation of indentured labor. These new
writers, he asserted, invented anglophone Caribbean literature “without
any previous native tradition to draw on.” This is a startling claim
given the fact that short stories, novels, and poetry written by
anglophone Caribbeans were published by local newspapers and by
metropolitan presses since the 19th century. The goal of this course is
to investigate canon formation in the anglophone Caribbean and in so
doing to place Lamming’s claims in the context of a history of debates
over the definition and purpose of literature in the Caribbean. In
addition to these debates, we will examine a broad variety of canonical
and non-canonical literary texts. Authors will likely include: George
Lamming, Jean Rhys,
Sam Selvon, and Edwidge Danticat.
Goals and Objectives:
1. To provide a survey of the history of anglophone
2. To address the theoretical question of how
literary canons are formed with reference to the Anglophone Caribbean
and English literary canons. Why are specific texts included
while other excluded from scholarship and teaching? What is the
definition and purpose of literary texts?
3. To hone writing skills in the analyzing literature
and critical arguments.
Please check your ufl email daily as you will receive updates on
assignments and the schedule via email. Updates will also be posted on
the class website accessible through my website:
http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/rosenber/ . Please check the
website for current assignments and schedule. The weekly response
questions will be posted by Friday afternoon of each week. Please
use the subject heading LIT4192 when you turn in assignments.
(1) Attendance, Participation, and Conferences (20%)
More than two absences will lower your grade. Two latenesses=one
absence. Missing more than six fifty-minute periods (2 weeks) will
result in failure in the course. If you are late, come up after
class and inform me, so that I can add you to the attendance for the
day. If you miss class you are responsible for the material covered in
class and for knowing the assignment for the next class. You may want
the email or phone number of other class members to contact if you miss
All students need to participate in class discussion. Read the
material, think about it, take notes and be ready to discuss it. This
means that you should always consider the response questions even if
you are not required to write an response. If you are very quiet, think
about how to contribute
more regularly. If you talk a great deal, focus on learning how to
encourage other students to participate. If you have excellent
attendance but do not speak, your participation will be grade: C.
Meet with me at least once this semester to discuss your work and
the class. I recommend coming to discuss both of your papers before you
write or after you’ve written the first draft. My office hours
are Mondays 9-11 and Tuesday 10-12.
(2) 8 Response papers
of the course grade)
What is a response
These are to be responses of 1-2 pages. I will provide a number
of questions for response papers. These topics will be provided
on the class website by Friday afternoon of each week. You may also
topic of your own. If you choose this option, check with me by Monday
of that week for approval. They are informal in the sense that
they are a place to experiment with your ideas without being
penalized. However, response papers
require serious thought and must be written in clear and coherent
academic prose in standard format for English essays (i.e. with
margins, 12 point Times Roman font or its equivalent; and page numbers).
The purpose of
a) To ensure that students complete the reading and think about it.
b) To communicate your ideas to me, so that I can organize the class
around your insights and interests.
c) To hone skills in analyzing literature and critical arguments.
Who is to write
papers for which dates?
Each week, either half the class or the full class will write a
response. Check on the syllabus to see if the week is
marked A-H which means you are to write a response if your last name
begins with the letters A through H. If the week is marked I-Z,
then students will last names between I-Z are to write a response.
How and when to
turn in the response paper:
These assignments are due via email(firstname.lastname@example.org) by Tuesday 9
am. It is very important that the subject line begin with
How response papers
I will assign each response paper a number between 1-4 with 4 being the
highest grade and the lowest. I will use the same criteria as for
formal essays (see below) but will give ample leeway for experimenting
with particular readings and theoretical concepts. Papers which
do not show adequate thought and other forms of preparation will
receive no credit and will need to be revised and resubmitted.
Paper #1 (10 % of the class
grade) 5-6 pages due 10/11
(the day before class meets!) Suggestions for Topics
In this paper you will chose one or
two texts we’ve read and consider if and how they conform to or
transgress dominant conceptions of the anglophone Caribbean literary
Canon. For instance, the representation of folk culture and the working
class has been considered a defining characteristic of Caribbean
literature. You might choose to evaluate the representation of
folk literature in one or two texts we've read. This paper might also
evaluate the relevance of the
theoretical essays on anglophone Caribbean literary or the literary
tradition in relation to the literary texts we’ve read. Further
details to follow (9/21). Please send via email to email@example.com
with the subject heading LIT4192
Paper #2 10 pages
(30 % - 2 drafts)
This essay assignment asks you to take stock of what you have learned
about Caribbean literature and literary studies more generally.
One possibility is for you to
choose one work and compare it with others we've read as a means of
evaluating its place in the tradition we
have studied in the class. Specific questions to be distributed by 1
First draft due 23 November.
Final drafts due 9 December.
Grading Criteria for Essays (see handout or link)
You must complete all the work for
this class. The Instructor reserves the right to change
assignments and schedule, so please check the syllabus on-line for
Books you need to buy at Goerings (1717
NW 1 Ave, 377 3707):
Lamming, George. In the Castle of My
Rhys, Jean. Voyage in the Dark.
Cliff, Michelle. Abeng
Danticat, Edwige. The Farming of
Maxwell, Philip. Emmanuel Appadocca.
Selvon, Sam. The Lonely
Other readings are available on
“James Belmont Condemns Local
Magazine.” The Trinidad
Guardian. 22 December 1929: p.1.
Eagleton, Terry. "The Rise of
English." Literary Theory: An
Introduction. 2nd ed. Minneapolis: U of Minn. P, 1996. 17-53.
Gomes, Albert. "Local Fiction" The Beacon 1:10(Jan-Feb., 1932):
1-2. (Reprinted in From
Trinidad ed. Reinhard Sander. New York:Africana
Guillory, John. "Canon." Critical Terms for Literary Study.
2 ed. Eds. Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin.
Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1995:
Hulme, Peter. "The Place of
Wide Sargasso Sea." Wasafiri
James, C.L.R. "Triumph." The C.L.R. James Reader. Ed. Anna
Grimshaw. London: Blackwell, 1992: 29-40. (Originally published in
Lorde, Audre. "The Uses of
the Erotic." in Sister Outsider.
Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press, 1984: 53-59.
Labour Leader Debate over CLR
James's short story "Triumph"
Lamming, George. "Occasion for
Speaking." Pleasures of Exile
(1960). Ann Arbor: Umich Press, 1992: 23-50.
Mendes, Alfred "A Commentary."(
Originally printed in Trinidad Easter 1930).Reprinted in From Trinidad ed. Reinhard Sander.
Publishing, 1978: 21-26.
Rhys, Jean."Voyage in the Dark Part
IV." The Gender of Modernism.
Ed. Bonnie Kime Scott. Bloomington: U of Indiana P, 1990: 381-389.
Selvon, Sam. "The
Calysonian" West Indian Short Stories ed. Andrew Salkey. London: Faber
and Faber, 1960: 106-117.
Walcott, Derek. "Spoiler's
Return" (1982) Voiceprint ed. Stewart Brown et al. Essex UK: Longman
“Explanatory Notes” on Spoiler's
Return from The Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse in English.
London: Penguin, 1986: 416-417.
The Caribbean Writers Summer
Institute Archives are available at: http://scholar.library.miami.edu/cls/CWSIMainPage.php
University of Florida Honesty Policy Regarding Cheating and Use of
Academic Honesty: As a result of completing the registration form at
the University of Florida, every student has signed the following
"I understand that the University of Florida expects its students to be
honest in all their academic work. I agree to adhere to this
commitment to academic honesty and understand that my failure to comply
with this commitment may result in disciplinary action up to and
expulsion from the University."
Copyrighted Materials and Software Use: All students are required
expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing copyrighted
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
be taken as appropriate.
Policy Related to Make-Up Exams or Other Work- All papers and exams
must be turned in on time. No late work will be accepted unless the
has asked for and been granted an extension at least 24 hours in
of the deadline.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities - Students requesting
special accommodations must first register with the Dean of Students
The Dean of Students will provide documentation to the student who must
then provide this documentation to the Instructor
Class Demeanor Expected by Instructor Students must be respectful of
everyone in the class.
when requesting accommodation.
University Counseling Services- Resources are available on-campus
students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic
goals which interfere with their academic performance. These resources
1.University Counseling Center, 301 Peabody Hall,
personal and career counseling;
2.Student Mental Health, Student Health Care Center,
3.Sexual Assault Recovery Services (SARS), Student
Care Center, 392-1161, sexual counseling
4.Career Resource Center, Reitz Union, 392-1601, career
development assistance and counseling.
CLASS SCHEDULE (subject to change)
8/24 Week 1 Introduction to Caribbean Literature and
Historical Introduction to
Trinidad and Michel Maxwell Philip’s Emmanuel Appadocca
Map with languages (from Ferguson, James. A Traveller's History of the Caribbean.
Northampton, MA: Interlink Publishing, 1999:304)
Map including Latin American Mainland
and dates of Independence (from Randall, Stephen J. and Graeme S.
Mount. The Caribbean Basin: an
International History. New York: Routledge, 1998:9)
8/31 Week 2 The Pre-history of Anglophone Caribbean
Literature: The 19th Century
Questions for Week Two
Maxwell Philip, Michel. Emmanuel
Appadocca (1854) -- at least through chapter XXI
to “The Occasion for Speaking.”
Students with last names A-H inclusive.
9/7 Week 3 The Place of Nineteenth-Century
Response Questions for Week Three
George. “The Occasion for Speaking.” ERES
Students with last names I-Z (inclusive)
9/14 Week 4 The
history of English literary studies and the formation of the English
Canon in the United States
Questions for Week Four
John. “Canon.” ERES
Terry. “The Rise of English.” ERES
Introductory lecture on the
history of carnival and calypso
5 The Folk as the
Basis of National Literature: The case of Trinidad Carnival and
Response Questions for Week Five
* James, C.L.R. “Triumph.”
ERES (1929 Yard fiction)
* Selvon, Sam. “The Calypsonian”
ERES (1950s Lamming's Generation)
* Walcott, Derek. “Spoiler’s
Return.” ERES (1982 criticism of postcolonial Trinidad)
Gomes, Albert. “Local
“Commentary.” ERES – recommended
“James Belmont Condemns Local
Labour Leader Debate over CLR
James's short story "Triumph" ERES – recommended
Listening: "Rum and
Coca Cola" (link
to sound recordings )
Ballad Calypsos "Fifty
Introduction to In the Castle of My Skin –
give out handout on 1937 labor revolt and its significance
Paper #1 topics given
9/28 Week 6 The
Modernist Peasant Novel: Paradigm for a Tradition?
Questions for Week Six
George. In the Castle of My Skin
Responses: Students with
last names I-Z (inclusive)
10/ 5 Week 7 The National novel on National History:
The 1937 Labor Rebellion and the Rise of the black middle class
Response Questions for Week Seven
In the Castle of My Skin cont’d
Responses: Students with last
names A-H inclusive.
10/11 Paper #1
Due by 9 am via email:
firstname.lastname@example.org With subject heading LIT4192
(This is so that I can read some
of the papers by Wednesday and we can discuss them in class.)
10/12 Week 8 Discussion of Papers / Introduction to
Jean Rhys and Voyage in the Dark
No Reading and No response papers
(no response paper)
10/19 Week 9 Caribbean Modernism: Women and Exile
Questions for Week Nine
Rhys, Jean. Voyage in the Dark. Part I
Responses: Students with last
names A-H inclusive.
10/26 Week 10 Black Folk Abroad: Men and Exile
Response Questions for Week Ten
* Complete Voyage in
the Dark & "Voyage
in the Dark Part IV."(original ending) ERES
* Begin Lonely
Londoners read to @ 67. The book begins on
Responses: Everyone who did not respond
11/2 Week 11 Lonely Londoners
continued Plus Abeng -- Note updated assignments
Questions for Week Eleven
Complete Lonely Londoners
Students with last names A-H inclusive
12 Women Rewriting
The Voice of the Folk
questions for Week Twelve
Due: Danticat, Edwidge The Farming
Students with last names I-Z inclusive
11/16 Week 13 Comparison
of Farming of Bones and Abeng
Questions for Week Thirteen
Comparison of Farming of Bones
“The Uses of the Erotic.” ERES
Responses. Everyone will turn in a one-page paper
proposal for your final paper. The paper should ultimately be 8-10
pages. The proposal should 1 page and include your topic, tentative
thesis, and description of the evidence you will use from the novels.
11/23 Week 14 First Draft of Second Paper due
via email email@example.com.
Please remember place LIT4192 as the subject heading
11/30 Week 15 Nobel
Prize Speeches: The
Founding Generation Speaks on the Nature of Caribbean Literature
1. Derek Walcott’s Nobel Prize
Naipaul’s Nobel Prize Speech
(print the speeches out and bring them to class)
RESPONSE PAPER ASSIGNMENT CANCELED. YOU MAY, HOWEVER, WRITE A
RESPONSE PAPER TO MAKE UP A MISSING RESPONSE PAPER ASSIGNMENT.
12/7 Week 16 Workshop
on Final Papers and discussion of Nobel Prize Speeches as a means of
considering what we've read this semester
questions and workshop assignment for Week Sixteen
9 December : Final Paper due via email