WRIT 116.005 | Imag-I-Nations
Joel Pace | Spring 2014 | TTh 5:00-7:15 PM
In this course we will examine the music of Bob & Damien Marley, Coldplay, the Dave Matthews Band, Lauryn Hill, and Matisyahu, the poetry of Phillis Wheatley and Li-Young Lee, and the prose of Kao Kalia Yang and others in order to understand their “Imag-I-Nations,” the ways writers and artists represent themselves and construct identity along (trans)national lines as well as the ways the imagination embroiders the representation of self through metaphors that cut across nations, realms, and borders (both physical and imagined). The term is a nod towards Bhabha’s “DissemiNation” and its acknowledgement of Derrida’s book of the same title (sans capital “N”). As Paul Gilroy suggests the Atlantic figures prominently in the identity of writers of the African Diaspora whose works exemplify multiple (not just double) transnational and transcultural consciousnesses, what Bhabha terms “hybridity.” “Imag-I-Nations” encompasses the ways identity is modified as well as maintained across geographic and temporal oceans, through clinging to as well as modifying cultural practices.