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Postcolonial Studies Minor

The minor in Postcolonial Studies builds upon Franklin’s culture of travel and global citizenship by asking students to think critically about what it means to travel and live in an increasingly interconnected, yet persistently unequal world. Postcolonial Studies examines the effects of colonial encounters and structures from a transdisciplinary perspective. The courses in this minor explore global power structures and the ways in which literatures and other media are produced, disseminated, and consumed in a postcolonial world.

Minor Requirements (18 Credits)

Foundation Courses (6 Credits)
CLCS 254 Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures and Theories

This course is designed as an introduction to the field of postcolonial studies. Readings will familiarise students with a diversity of ''world literature'' and grant an understanding of key debates in postcolonial studies. As postcolonialism is not a unified field of study, the course engages with different theoretical understandings of the term and queries what it even means to be ''postcolonial.'' When exactly does the postcolonial begin? What are the implications of using such a broad umbrella term to designate writings from around the world? Students will explore depictions of the colonial encounter and decolonisation, question the links between colonialism and globalisation, and examine constructions of East and West, Global North and Global South. Central to the course will be the themes of: power and violence; economics and class; land and nation; authenticity and development; gender and sexuality; history and memory; the politics of literature; and the politics of print culture. Students will read a diverse and broad historical selection of texts from a variety of geographical locations including, India, Kenya, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Jamaica. Literary texts will be paired with theoretical readings from such critics as Kwame Anthony Appiah, Ann McLintock, Benita Parry, Franz Fanon, and Edward Said. Although the main focus of study is literature, the course will adopt an interdisciplinary approach, understanding literary works as products of cultural, historical, social, and political circumstances. Throughout the course, students will explore how colonial power has shaped—and continues to shape—the world in which we live.

One of the following:
HIS 101 Western Civilization II: Modern

This survey course is an introduction to the political, economic, social, and intellectual history of the west from the scientific revolution to the present. Our knowledge and understanding of the past is contingent and contested. The course explores areas of contestation to give students a better understanding of the forces and events which have shaped the modern world.

HIS 105 Global History II: Globalization, the Emergence of the Modern State, and Coping with Change

This course is an introduction to themes and trends in the political, economic, cultural, and social history of modern societies in global perspective. It covers the development of societies in Eurasia, Africa, and the Americas from the ''Columbian Exchange'' to the twenty-first century with emphasis on the development of institutions within their changing cultural, political, and environmental context, as well as the impact of encounters between human societies. Students are introduced to the historiography of globalization and of the modern state. Further attention is devoted to the analysis of different categories of primary sources. (It is recommended that HIS 104 be taken prior to HIS 105).

No more than one of the following courses may overlap with other major or minor requirements. Students must take courses from at least three disciplines.
Three of the following, with at least one at the 300 level (9 Credits)
CLCS 330 The Politics of Mobility: Exile and Immigration

Beginning with the post-colonial theory of Edward Said, this class will examine the ideas of exile and immigration in a colonial and post-colonial context. This course will explore exile vs. expatriatism, language and power, movement across cultures, narrative agency and authority, and voices in the new immigrant narrative. By approaching the topic from a comparative perspective, students will be exposed to a polyphony of voices and the variety of experiences associated with exile and the construction of identity. Students will examine, in particular, contemporary fiction as a window to the context of this experience.

CLCS 360 Critical Race Studies in a Global Context

In this course, the class will work to create a more critical understanding of what race is, what race does, and how contemporary racial meanings are constructed and disseminated. In order to do so, students will explore Critical Race Theory (CRT) and critical theories of race in several contexts. CRT refers to a theory that emerged among legal educators in the US in the 1980s and 1990s. In the last twenty years, a growing number of scholars in fields such as cultural studies, gender studies, history, media studies, politics, postcolonial studies and sociology have integrated and developed the work done by critical race theorists. This course will focus in particular on this interdisciplinary approach to critical race studies. The practice of race will be examined as well as the policies and institutions that shape race in a global context in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Finally, students will consider the intersection of race and other social hierarchies, including gender, sexuality and social class.

COM 301 Globalization and Media

This course examines media in the context of globalization. Most broadly, students will explore what constitutes globalization, how globalization has been facilitated and articulated by media, how media have been shaped by the processes of globalization, and perhaps most significantly, the social implications of these complex and varied processes on politics, international relations, advocacy and cultural flows. In order to map this terrain, students will survey the major theories that constitute this dynamic area of study.

COM 352 Environmental Discourses

This course examines the distinct modes of representation that have come to color how we think and act upon the natural world. Given the increasing importance of the environment in local, national, and global politics, this course is invested in helping students understand the significance of language in creating, defining, mitigating, and negotiating environmental issues and controversies. During the course of the semester, students will investigate (1) the socio-cultural history of environmental discourse, (2) the dominant discursive constructions of the environment, (3) the implications of these on, and the status of, contemporary environmental politics and advocacy, and (4) the importance of studying environmental discourse from a cross-cultural perspective. In order to explore the ideologies and attitudes at the heart of varying environmental discourses, students will analyze texts from various disciplines and spheres (e.g. political, scientific, activist, and popular), genres (e.g. films, books, newspaper articles, image events, policy briefs, and speeches) and rhetorical strategies (e.g. metaphors, tropes, and ideographs).

ECN 303 Development Economics

The course will introduce students to the evolution of theory and practice in economic development in three stages. First, models of economic growth and development including work by Harrod-Domar, Robert Solow, Arthur Lewis, and Michael Kremer are compared to provide students with a feeling for how economists have conceived of the development process. The class then proceeds to examine particular development issues such as population growth, stagnant agriculture, environmental degradation, illiteracy, gender disparities, and rapid urbanization to understand how these dynamics reinforce poverty and deprivation. In the final stage, students will read work by supporters as well as critics of international development assistance and use the knowledge and perspective they have gained thus far to independently evaluate efficacy of a specific development intervention.

ECN 355 Political Economy: Theories and Issues

This course is designed to introduce students to the foundations of political economy. Political economy is the study of the economic system from a critical, historical and interdisciplinary perspective to provide a greater understanding of our current economic system. In this course, students will learn about different theories in political economy and how these theories help us understand the transformation of a pre capitalist system to the current capitalist system. Some of the approaches that students will be introduced to are Institutional, Marxian, Sraffian, Post-Keynesian and Austrian. This course will also draw from these various theories and examine their implications for different issues that arise from the current social and economic formation. Some of the issues that will be considered in this course are social and economic inequality, gender inequality, issues concerning the ecology, power relations and conflict in modern society, political economy of poverty and uneven development.

ENV 220 Ecocritical Approaches to Literature

This interdisciplinary, writing-intensive course will introduce students to environmental literary criticism, more commonly known since the 1990s as ''ecocriticism.'' As a theoretical approach to literature, eco-criticism provides a secondary lens through which to analyze primary sources; an eco-critical approach focuses on how these primary sources have ''constructed'' our relationship to the natural world through writing and narrative. In applying eco-critical theory to a selection of primary fiction, students will examine some of the major environmental themes found in literature, among others: land use, speciesism, climate change, environmental apocalypse, and the post-human. Students will explore these themes using some of the basic critical tools and methodologies of ecocriticism, not only to explore how authors write about the environment, but also to examine how the environment itself is constructed through aesthetic discourse. Students should leave the course with improved critical environmental literacy skills that will enable interdisciplinary reflection about our interactions with the natural environment.

FRE 324 From Beur to Post-Beur Literature: Exile, Margins, and Re-Territorialization

This course focuses on fictional works written by authors whose identities straddle the Mediterranean. Whether they immigrated from Algeria, Tunisia or Morocco to France or were born in France to immigrant parents, these writers have found an outlet for the expression of their personal experience in writing. These fictions gives rise to a number of issues such as the important role French people of Maghreb origins have played in the cultural shaping of France since the independence of the countries mentioned above, the subsequent interior colonialism they were and are still subject to, the topographical and social divides that separate the different ethnic strata of French society, the gender issues that have developed since the ''regroupement familial'' in 1974. As a complement to the readings, students will see different documentaries and / or films that will sociologically, historically and culturally frame these issues.

HIS 245 Worlds of Judaism

This course is an introduction to the multifaceted civilization of Judaism as both a religion and as a historical phenomenon. After a survey of the background and preconditions of the emergence of the Hebrew bible and of monotheistic culture within the context of the Middle East in antiquity, the course focuses on the cultural mechanisms such as religious law and memory that kept the various Jewish worlds somewhat linked, despite the Diaspora from the time of the Babylonian Captivity, and even more so following the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE. Attention is given to religious, cultural, and social developments that made Judaism survive from antiquity through the middle ages to the present, and also to the different reactions to its respective environments, in areas as diverse as Babylonia in the age of the Talmud, the ''Golden Age'' of Islamic Spain, or Germany in the Modern era. The course concludes with the rise of a Jewish center in Palestine in the twentieth century, and the ensuing tensions between this center and the persisting diasporas.

HIS 330 East Asia, 1900 to the Present

In 1905 Japan became the first non-western country to defeat a western power, in this case Russia, in the modern era. This was the culmination of a forty-year effort by Japan to embrace modernity and resist western domination. It also served as a powerful inspiration to the peoples of Asia and to the rise of anti-colonial nationalism in the region. For much of the twentieth century the most populous continent was the scene of much convulsion; war (including cold war), revolution and widespread human suffering. Asia has since transcended these difficulties to become a global economic powerhouse, a process that was heavily influenced by the clash of imperialism and nationalism and by the Cold War, a global polarization that led not just to ‘cold’ tensions but also to ‘hot’ conflicts. Issues addressed include the rise, fall and rise of Japan, anti-colonial nationalism, wars in Asia including in Korea and Vietnam, and the emergence of China as a world power. As well as conflict and high politics, students examine how various ideologies affected societies. In pursuit of development and prosperity for their people, governments across Asia transformed daily life out of all recognition, for better or for worse.

HIS 351 Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Europe

This course undertakes an in-depth discussion of the origins and development of nationalism as an ideology, as a political movement, and as a source of internal and international conflict in Europe. Following an introduction to important approaches in the theory of nationalism, special attention is devoted to the periods of the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War and its impact, and the period after the end of the Cold War in 1989.

HIS 355 The World and the West in the Long 19th Century

The world today has been shaped to a large extent by Europe and America in the long nineteenth century between the Enlightenment and the First World War. During this period dramatic changes in social, economic, political and cultural ideas and institutions were related to changes in how people in the West conceptualized the world around them. Although Europeans and Americans exerted global influence through industrialization and imperialism, in turn they were influenced by people beyond the West from Africa to the Far East. Thus globalization is not a recent phenomenon. With emphasis on Christopher Bayly's recent book The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914: Global Connections and Comparisons, among other works, this course will focus on major themes in the study of modernity such as political ideologies and the roles of science and religion as related to the development of the idea of ''Europe'' or ''the West'' with special reference to the British colonies, Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, and Japan. It is intended to provide not only a broad view of a crucial period in modern history but also a functional knowledge of themes and concepts necessary for understanding the contemporary world. Students read primary as well as secondary sources, and attention is devoted to methodological considerations and recent trends in scholarship.

HIS 358 Global Britishness

The concept of ‘Global Britishness’ began as loyalty to the colonial motherland on the part of Britain’s white settler colonies (Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand). This was transformed after the Second World War into a set of uneasy nationalisms by the 1970s. In recent years these ex-colonies have witnessed a re-identification with earlier concepts of Britishness (royal visits, war commemoration) at a time when the very concept of Britishness is perceived to be under threat from Scottish devolution (and possible independence) and Britain’s exit from the European Union. ‘Global Britishness’ presents a fascinating array of competing and intersecting identities across global, imperial and national lines. Students gain a greater understanding and awareness of; the processes and agencies of Britain’s imperial decline; the reactions to this among the various white settler colonies; the differences and similarities between these reactions; the practices of cultural and transnational history; and, contemporary legacies of the British Empire in the settler colonial world.

POL 377 International Political Economy

The interplay between political and economic issues has become central to the study of international relations in the modern world. This course will examine the traditional theoretical foundations of International Political Economy (the views of the liberals, the Marxists, the nationalists, etc.) and their applicability to today's world. Using an inter-disciplinary approach, the course will look at both historical background and present-day issues and conditions. The problems of development and North-South relations and the question of sustainability will be examined. International trade issues, such as the relations between trade globalization and environmental and human rights concerns and the role of institutions such as, the WTO, the IMF and G8 meetings will be studied. Finally the course will also consider new problem areas such as the internet and its control and e-commerce and the emerging role of non-governmental organizations.(Formerly POL 277. Students cannot earn credit for both POL 277 and POL 377.)

Academic Travel (3 Credits)

One of the following:

CLCS 238T Reading the Postcolonial City: Berlin and Hamburg

Colonialism has left its traces not only very obviously on the former colonies themselves but also on the face of the cities of the colonisers. Host of the ''Congo Conference'' that carved up the continent in 1885, Germany was late into the ''scramble for Africa.'' However, it has long been implicated in colonialism through trade, scientific exploration, and Hamburg’s position as a ''hinterland'' of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Seeking to explore colonial echoes in less obvious places, namely in contemporary Berlin and Hamburg, the course asks how we can remember colonialism in the modern world, become conscious of its traces, and encourage critical thinking about the connections between colonialism, migration and globalization. As an Academic Travel, this course will include an on-site component where the class will team up with postcolonial focus groups in Berlin and Hamburg, going onto the street and into the museum to retrace the cities’ colonial connections, and to experience and engage with the colonial past through performance-based activities.

CLCS 247T French Cultural Institutions: Power and Representation

Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French authors and artists were instrumental in shaping the imaginary of the ''Orient'', with a myriad of paintings and texts housed for public consumption in national cultural institutions. Students will use the French case to explore the politics of representation: the creation and objectification of an Oriental ''Other''. On-the-ground field study in museums, archives and galleries of Paris (the former colonial capital) and Marseille (the ''Gateway to North Africa'') will help students to investigate the ties that bind the visual arts and literature with the exercising of knowledge and power, and to read literary and artistic works as shaped by their cultural and historical circumstances. The strong Arab and Berber presence in both cities today, in particular from France's former colonies in North Africa, will provide the impetus to question how contemporary writers and artists explicitly and implicitly engage with and renegotiate these ''cultural artifacts'', and what broader significance this might have for questions of representation and identity, Self and Other, in the (not only French) present. Students will read contemporary texts by authors such as Leïla Sebbar and Assia Djébar and explore work by visual artists including Zineb Sedira and Zoulikha Bouabdellah, using their, and our own, ''encounters'' in the Louvre, the Pompidou Center, the Arab World Institute, MuCEM and smaller galleries to consider the significance of reappropriating the gaze and of the relationship between visual pleasure and politics, while questioning who art is ''for'' and where the ''representation business'' takes us. (The course may count toward the French Studies major in consultation with the coordinator of the French Studies program.)

ECN 330T Neo-liberal India: Globalization and Development

India has often been described as one of the developing countries that has achieved considerable economic success by following a neo-liberal policy regime in the past twenty years. However, over the last two years, India’s growth has stagnated. Moreo-ver, a substantial part of the population continues to live below the poverty line and lack access to basic services like clean water, health care, education etc. This course has been designed to use India as a case study to investigate the impact of globaliza-tion on development and will introduce students to different facets of globalization and allow students to understand the complicated interrelations between globaliza-tion and development. Students will study about labor reforms, environmental sus-tainability, politics of land grab, agricultural policies, urbanization-all within the framework of political economy of globalization and economic development. Students will be introduced to the flourishing IT and financial service sector, one of the main beneficiaries of globalization and the impact these sectors have had on India’s grow-ing middle class. Students will then be introduced to the problems and issues faced in the semi urban regions of the country. This travel course will allow students to ob-serve and recognize the causes of uneven growth and the consequent impact on peo-ple’s standards of living.

ECN 331T Sustainable Economic Development

Traditionally, efficiency has been given priority over sustainability in orthodox economics. With the declaration of Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations, the idea of sustainability has become central in mainstream economic and policy discussions, thereby challenging many fundamental building blocks of economics. This course will examine the different approaches used in economics to study sustainability within the context of economic development. This will include both mainstream approach that uses neoclassical assumptions of market clearing and the rational choice theory and non-mainstream schools of thoughts that include Marxian economics, Ecological economics and Institutional economics. The course will then explore the relationships between sustainability and various economic and political issues like employment generation, property and resource rights, mode of production, economic growth and poverty. The aim of this course is to provide tools to students that will allow them to critically examine the various approaches to sustainable development. A grade of at least C is highly recommended in the prequisite ECN 100. This Academic Travel course carries a supplemental fee, to be announced prior to registration.

HIS 275T History of Modern Ireland: Union and Dis-union, 1798-1998

Ireland has undergone profound social, economic and political changes over the last two centuries. Its history has been largely defined, for better or worse, by its relationship with its larger neighbor, Britain. This course critically examines the contours and effects of this often troubled relationship which can largely be defined as the struggle between union and dis-union, that is, either strengthening or severing the link with Britain. Going beyond these constitutional issues it also examines wider social and cultural changes; the famine and its legacy, the land revolution of the late nineteenth century, emigration, the ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy and Ireland’s delayed sexual revolution.