National Identity

What is national identity?  Does such a thing exist?  Who defines whom?  How do these questions inform the study of literature?

It shouldn’t surprise you that these questions form the foundation of po-co study.  Based on your thoughtful responses from last week, you already have thought about your position as po-co scholars and the danger of a single story.  This week’s readings take that idea into the theoretical realm.  You will be introduced to four quintessential essays dealing with the questions of defining identity and nationality, and I am guessing you will think a lot about your subject positions of teacher, student, American, etc…

For blog post three, I would like to see you write a response where you integrate your ideas about Fanon, Cesaire (I don’t know how to do an accented “e,” so I apologize!), Anderson, and Jameson along with the definitions from the Ashcroft text.  Think two-ish page response paper.  I would like to see some direct quotes from the texts that you are wrangling with.  These are four doozies, so stay strong, and feel free to email me (or do a quickie blog post) with questions.  That is the point of theory.  I find the more I read, the less I know (cue cheesy music).

Remember, your job every week is to do one extensive post as outlined above and two shorter responses.  I don’t know about you, but I am already feeling disorganized when it comes to keeping track of posts.  You don’t have to.  I just want you to write your best work, read everyone’s posts, and reply to two.  I don’t want anyone getting overwhelmed by posting when really I want you to focus on creating your own original scholarship.

If you have time or an extra 18 minutes this week, here’s a TED talk that applies nicely to the readings and what I know will be an engaging week of posts and discussion.


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