Week Two: “National” Identity

What is national identity?  Does such a thing exist?  Who defines whom?  How do these questions inform the study of literature?  These are questions that are at the forefront of my mind these days as the nation talks about building walls and testing who can and cannot enter the country.  I would like you read this executive order and have it in the back of your mind as you do this week’s work.


It shouldn’t surprise you that these questions form the foundation of po-co study.  Based on your thoughtful responses from last week, you already have thought about your position as po-co scholars and the danger of a single story.  This week’s readings take that idea into the theoretical realm.  You will be introduced to four quintessential essays dealing with the questions of defining identity and nationality, and I am guessing you will think a lot about your subject positions of teacher, student, American, etc…

For blog post three, I would like to see you write a response where you integrate your ideas about Fanon, Cesaire (I don’t know how to do an accented “e,” so I apologize!), Anderson, and Jameson along with the definitions from the Ashcroft text.  Think two-ish page response paper.  I would like to see some direct quotes from the texts that you are wrangling with.  These are four doozies, so stay strong, and feel free to email me (or do a quickie blog post) with questions.  That is the point of theory.  I find the more I read, the less I know (cue cheesy music).

Remember, your job every week is to do one extensive post as outlined above and a shorter response (at least).  I don’t know about you, but I am already feeling disorganized when it comes to keeping track of posts.  You don’t have to.  I just want you to write your best work, read everyone’s posts, and reply to one.  I don’t want anyone getting overwhelmed by posting when really I want you to focus on creating your own original scholarship.

And because I think we need a relevant laugh…


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