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Consuming the Caribbean

Semester and Year SP 2008
Course Number K20.1482
Section 001
Days Mon
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


Paradise or plantation? Spring break, honeymoon, or narcotics way station? First World host or IMF delinquent? Where do we locate the Caribbean? From Columbus' journals to Terry McMillan's How Stella Got Her Groove Back, the Caribbean has been buried beneath the sedimentation of imagery by and large cultivated by non-Caribbeans, including colonial governments, settlers, international tradesmen, tourist agents and their clients. Caribbean peoples have had to re-member the islands which they eventually called home—haunted by a history of slavery and still a site of consumption and exploitation. A unifying trope, Caribbean landscapes function as metaphor, emblem, symbol, or even character. This course takes an interdisciplinary (history, literature, anthropology and sociology) and transnational approach by examining the themes of race, freedom, gender, tourism and consumption in the Caribbean. As a conglomeration of nationalities, languages, and cultures, what are the connections between the historical legacy of slavery, European colonialism and migration to the Caribbean's current realities of inequality? Some of the texts we will engage are Mimi Sheller's Consuming the Caribbean, Jamaica Kincaid's A Small Place, and Denise Brennan's What's Love Got to Do With It: Transnational Desires and Sex Tourism in the Dominican Republic.

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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