Friday, January 13, 2012

Spring Course: From Third World to Global South

We'd like to highlight another of our spring Topics classes--Topics in Global Histories: From Third World to Global South--taught by Prof. Maia Ramnath. Prof. Ramnath was Draper's previous faculty fellow in Global Histories and has recently published two books: Haj to Utopia: How the Ghadar Movement Charted Global Radicalism and Attempted to Overthrow the British Empire (University of California Press, 2011) and Decolonizing Anarchism (AK Press, 2011).

The course description is below; please contact Larissa Kyzer at if interested in enrolling.


Topics in Global Histories: From Third World to Global South


Prof. Maia Ramnath

Course Overview

The aim of this class is to explore the political and intellectual legacy of anti-colonialism. In it we will trace the development of ideologies and practices of decolonization through transnational solidarities and internationalist movements from the late 19th century to the present.

Paying attention to the continuities as well as the turning points in the structures that have defined a global field of power and action, we confront systems of political, military, economic and cultural dominance and their legitimating ideologies of race and civilization: "high" imperialism, capital expansion, Cold War geopolitical blocs, developmentalism, neoliberal globalization, and the "new" imperialism.

On the other side we see the precursors of today's call to "globalize resistance" through cultural/civilizational or class categories of allegiance and identity, as Pan-African, Pan-Asian and Pan-Islamic movements fed into interwar congresses of Oppressed Peoples and the Comintern-backed League Against Imperialism, succeeded by the post-war/Cold War era of the Non-Aligned Movement, Afro-Asian and Tricontinental collaborations and Third Worldist liberation struggles, and finally into the contemporary notion of the Global South and "globalization from below."

Since the cultural dimension has been so crucial to questions and practices of anti-colonial resistance and so interconnected with political, social and economic conditions, we will supplement each discussion with student-presented modules on some of the many writers whose literary contributions were intrinsic to the experience of Third Worldist politics and the later development of postcolonial criticism.

Students will be expected to produce a substantive research paper, an oral presentation and brief weekly critical reading responses.



(possibilities; focus to be determined by students in collaboration with instructor)

George Lamming, Patrick Chamoiseau, Derek Walcott, Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Naguib Mahfouz,Mahmoud Darwish, Chinua Achebe, Pablo Neruda, Jose Marti, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Agha Shahid Ali, Sajjad Zaheer, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Saadat Hasan Manto, Ismet Chughtai, Buchi Emecheta, Forugh Farrokhzad, Mulk Raj Anand, Lu Xun, Sam Selvon, V.S. Naipaul, Assia Djebar, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Hanif Kureishi, Monica Ali, Zadie Smith, Ama Ata Aidoo, Shani Mootoo, Jessica Hagedorn, Ahdaf Soueif, Hanan Ashrawi, Jean Rhys, E. M. Forster, Rudyard Kipling,Joseph Conrad, Albert Camus...the sky's the limit.

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