Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures
Spring 2023 - This is a review for Eng 128: Postcolonial and Transnational Theory. The course breakdown was: 10% class participation 10% participation in a "Fish Bowl" discussion 20% annotated bibliography (2 pages, graded on completion) 60% 2 papers (4-6 pages) In addition, we brought in (ungraded) abstracts for our papers about a week before they were due Behdad is very understanding, and as you can probably tell, a lot of the class was graded on effort/completion. The grading of the papers was done by a TA who we didn't see except for one guest lecture, but he was very fair and provided helpful comments. My favorite parts of the class were reading the novels ("A Grain of Wheat" and "Abeng") and watching the film "The Battle of Algiers." In hindsight, I think a class on postcolonial theory should be made a mandatory part of the college curriculum. It helps us understand how absolutely crippling colonialism is to a country's people - even when the colonial force officially withdraws, it doesn't do it before completely destroying the country's natural resources and morale, and it never really stops kicking it even when it's down. Unfortunately, even with all of the pros listed above, I still found the class pretty dull. I took it to fulfill the critical theory requirement for English departmental honors (for creative writing, which should tell you how much I enjoyed theory going in), and I found most of the theoretical essays dense and confusing. Behdad also went through quite a few slides every lecture, so I was copying pages of notes every day with the only reprieve being the fishbowl (which I ironically started looking forward to just to break the monotony). I did find parts of the class interesting, but I REALLY had to see the forest for the trees.
Winter 2015 - Redo-Post, you'd think they'd make a delete button for this site. I hope an administrator will see within time and will delete the post below. I just, changed the scores for the workload. Now to think of it the reading load isn't much and by the end of the quarter you get to view movies. Its just that the time frame to write the essays were short, especially when you got 3 other classes demanding the same. Original post: Ok I see some bad reviews on Professor Sharpe, but I really ended up enjoying something I imagined to be boring. The reading amount can defiantly get dense, if you are taking other literature classes, but the reading selections for the class were excellent. In class, Professor Sharpe tries to engage classroom discussion and expects everyone to ask questions and have read the material before coming to class. So if you don't do the work, your not going to enjoy the class. That being said, I thought her lectures were brilliant. As someone who did not have a clue about postcolonial literature, by the end of the quarter Eng130 became my favorite class. I strongly recommend taking the class, especially if you never have read anything from the Caribbean Islands. Take a leap faith in learning something new, instead of going for the 'cooler' sounding classes. I always felt like the best classes I took during my 4 years were the classes of my third choice. For me, the literature could touch me on a personale level and made me really re-think about how i see myself. During my four years here, that never happened.