[Blackstudies-l] M. NourbeSe Philip: NEW COURSE

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Sun Oct 19 17:21:55 EDT 2014

Here's a description:

ENGL 458: Major Authors: M. NourbeSe Philip

What is belonging? What does it mean to be human? How might we speak to one
another? Since 1983, Canadian-Tobagian poet, writer, and lawyer M. NourbeSe
Philip has explored these and other issues in her poetry, plays, fiction,
and essays. Her revolutionary depiction of the English language as
“l’anguish [...] a foreign anguish” asks us to think about what we mean
when we talk about ‘English’ literature. Her recent extended poem, Zong!,
which emerges from a near-forgotten two-page legal decision about the
status of Africans  thrown overboard from a slave ship, reminds us of the
bitter power of historical record, the limitations of history’s silence.
Her other writings, for young adult audiences and adults alike, work to
call out and inspect stereotypes of Blackness as they persist in
contemporary culture. In recognizing Philip as a major author making
significant contributions to the ways we understand location, community,
and identity, this course will explore issues of genre, feminism, diaspora,
multiculturalism, language, form, and geography as it asks us to question
the sources of authority and the workings of power. “In whose language / am
I / if not in yours,” Philip writes: this class will seek to find out!

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