Colonialism as a lived experience, English

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1. In the Castle of My Skin creates a narrative that documents the multiple ways in which slavery occurs. Discuss, paying particular attention to the representation of a Barbadian culture and to characterisation.

2. Anger often is described as a wasteful emotion: yet, in much black writing just as often it serves as a catalyst from which 'to write back' to mainstream white cultures and through which to reconfigure a social self. Critically discuss with reference to one or more texts studied up to Week 6.

3. A colonial system of power relations frames novels such as those by Lamming and Mootoo. Consider the different ways in which this may be the case, noting in particular Lamming's notion of "colonialism as a lived experience". Your essay will need to make detailed reference at least to two texts.

4. Drawing for your answer on any of the materials read up to Week 6, consider some of the ways in which the various authors engage with and respond to 'blackness' as an identity category. Pay particular attention to the interface between politics (themes) and aesthetics (narrative form and techniques).

5. "Colour is not a human or a personal reality; it is a political reality." (Baldwin, The Fire Next Time) Discuss how any two writers on the course have connected the concept of 'racial difference' to its historical and political context/s.

6. You can also draw on selected texts (minimum of two) to engage in a critique of Paul Gilroy's essay, focusing especially on his thesis of a 'double-consciousness'. Or you may wish to engage Henry Louis Gates, Jr., in the same way.


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