HUMAN 100 - Introduction to Studies in the Humanities - Pierre Etienne
|Course:||Introduction to Studies in the Humanities|
I was born and raised in the beautiful city of La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast of France. Unfortunately, in the 18th and 19th centuries, this city grew rich through its involvement in the slave trade. In the 20th century, my father was an officer in the French colonial navy, and he and my family paid a heavy price for his participation in France's imperialist endeavors, as he was killed in Vietnam in 1954. In other words, I have been haunted/fascinated by colonialism for my entire life, and I have taught classes devoted to this topic at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Puerto Rico (a colony!) as well as at College of the Canyons.
Along with climate change, there are perhaps no greater issues facing the world today than those arising from colonialism, a system that can simply be defined as a policy by which a nation maintains or extends its control over foreign dependencies. Or, to be truthfully blunt, a practice of domination which involves the subjugation of one people to another for the economic benefit of the latter. In other words, colonialism is about slavery and exploitation (military, economic, sexual, etc.) in all its forms; it’s about Capitalism and Communism, and war and terrorism, and migration. In other words, it’s to a great extent about how the world we live in got that way—and where it might be going—and to study it, to borrow a line from a great song by the Velvet Underground, is to take a walk on the wild side. Are you ready?
Course Topic: Conquest, Consolidation and Resistance: European Colonialism and its Aftermath
This course will focus on European imperialism/colonialism in the Maghreb (North Africa, most notably Algeria), West Africa, Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos), and the Caribbean. It will examine how the Europeans were able to conquer a substantial portion of the world and how they attempted to justify this enterprise not only by means of military and economic subjugation but through the use of philosophical constructs, social theory, language, religion, education, art, literature, and cinema. As a corollary, we will study how the colonized countered this subjugation by means of ideology, literature, cinema, music and, in the case of Haiti, Algeria, and Vietnam, violence, to assert their own identity. Finally, we will study, how the conquered and the conquerors are still facing the consequences in today’s world.
What to Expect in this Course
You will be busy, but it will be manageable. With very few exceptions, the reading and writing assignments are short. Participation in class discussions, two general exams, short quizzes on readings, short film response papers, two short essays.
Types of Assessments
Participation in class discussions, two general in-class exams, short quizzes on readings, short film response papers, two short essays.
Textbook Information / Link to ZTC Textbook
Required texts (all available for a reasonable price at the COC bookstore):
Dennis Laumann, Colonial Africa: 1884-1994 (Oxford University Press: ISBN: 9780199796397)
A. Adu Boahen, African Perspectives on European Colonialism (Diasporic Africa Press: ISBN: 9780966020144)
Mariama Bâ, So Long a Letter (Waveland Press: ISBN: 9781577668060)
Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer (Grove Atlantic: ISBN: 9780802124944)
Joseph Zobel, Black Shack Alley (Lynne Rienner Publishers: ISBN: 978091447868)
Important note: There will be other short readings (poems, song lyrics, excerpts from essays, film reviews, etc.) as well as music and films. These will be made available to you free of charge on-line or by your instructor.
Other Relevant Course Information
Additional requirements: You will need reliable access to the Internet and Canvas via a desktop or laptop computer or pad.
Important note: I'll send the syllabus and some important information the week before the start of class. It is important that you check your COC email (my,canyons) on a regular basis.
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Last updated: 11/04/2021 Sub#: 1133