AAS 290 - Selected Topics in Black World Studies
Section: 002 Anansi Stories: Caribbean Folklore and Resistance
Term: FA 2013
Subject: Afroamerican & African Studies (AAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
Waitlist Capacity:
Class Misc Info:
Meets 10/28/13-12/11/13. (Drop/Add deadline=11/11/13.).
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This mini-course introduces students to Afro- and Indo-Caribbean folkloric traditions and their transnational literary adaptation to the socio-political contexts of Trinidad, Guyana, Jamaica, Haiti, and diasporic Caribbean communities in North America. As the Guyanese writer Wilson Harris has noted, the shapeshifting Yoruba trickster-spider Anansi crossed the Middle Passage with his people, modeling their transformation into “natives” of the Caribbean. This class will explore folkloric figures that are both brand new and syncretically new to the Caribbean, and the ways in which they have served as political and metaphorical representations of resistance and adaptation to: slavery and indentureship; patriarchy; tourism and environmental degradation; racial infighting; postcolonial poverty and global economic policies; and traditional Anglicanism, Hinduism, and Islam. Folkloric figures we will study in detail include the bloodsucking soucouyant, the Haitian goddess Erzulie, trickster Anansi, and the orishas/lwas of various religious-spiritual practices. We will also examine the anticolonial resistance politics of the musical genre of calypso and related carnival mas practices. Throughout the course we will interrogate the idea of folklore as (1) crucial to casting the Caribbean as the metaphor for religious, spiritual, bodily, and geographic hybridity, but (2) nonetheless a site of cultural retention and resistance.

Course Requirements:

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AAS 290 - Selected Topics in Black World Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (SEM)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0446674338
Brown girl in the ring, Author: Nalo Hopkinson., Publisher: Grand Central Pub. 1st ed. 1998
ISBN: 0446678031
Skin folk, Author: Nalo Hopkinson., Publisher: Warner Books 2001
ISBN: 067976657X
Krik? Krak!, Author: Edwidge Danticat., Publisher: Vintage Books 1st Vintag 1995
ISBN: 0374530114
The kingdom of this world, Author: Alejo Carpentier ; translated by Harriet de Onis., Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Pbk. ed. 2006
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