Pacific Studies Initiative Syllabi & Bibliographies



Syllabi & Bibliographies

Internet Resources

Islands Literature: From Paradise to the Postcolonial

English 356, Fall 1997

Dr. Juniper Ellis

English Department

Loyola College in Maryland

Baltimore MD 21210

Office Hours: MWF 9-11, and by appointment



Cristina Garcia, Dreaming in Cuban

Vilsoni Hereniko, Last Virgin in Paradise

Keri Hulme, The Bone People

Earl Lovelace, The Dragon Can't Dance

Herman Melville, Typee

V. S. Naipaul, Miguel Street

Derek Walcott, Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays

Albert Wendt, Sons for the Return Home

Library Reserve Readings, indicated by **



Sep. 3 Introduction
  5 Melville, Typee
  8 Melville, Typee
  10 Melville, Typee
  12 **Darwin, from The Voyage of the Beagle "Tahiti and New Zealand." New York: Bantam. 1972
    **Robert Davie's Account of Preston's Voyage, in English Privateering Voyages to the West Indies. Ed, Kenneth Andrews. Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 1959. Pp 377-398.
  15 **Buzzacott, from Mission Life in the Islands of the Pacific, 1866. Rpt 1985, Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific. Pp 25-60.
    **Maretu, from Cannibals and Converts. 1871. Translated by Marjorie Tuainekore Crocombe. Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies, USP, 1983.
  17 **Columbus, "The Discovered Islands" Conquest of Eden 1493-1515. Michael Paiewonsky. Rome: MAPes MONDe, 1991. Pp 9-41.
    **"Introduction" and Chapters 1 and 2 from The Hart Sisters: Early African Caribbean Writers, Evengelicals, and Radicals. Ed, Moira Ferguson. Lincoln: U of Nebraska Press, 1993.
  19 Wendt, Sons for the Return Home
  22 Wendt, Sons for the Return Home
  24 Wendt, Sons for the Return Home
  26 **Wendt, "Towards a New Oceania." Mana Review 1,1 (1976), pp 49-60. Reprinted in Paul Sharrad, ed, Readings in Pacific Literature. Wollongong, Australia: U of Wollongong and New Literatures Research Centre, 1993. Pp 9-19.
  29 **Introduction and Chapter 1 from The Empire Writes Back, by Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. London and New York: Routledge, 1989.
Oct. 1 Hulme, The Bone People
  3 Hulme, The Bone People
  6 Hulme, The Bone People
  8 Hulme, The Bone People
  10 Paper Workshop
  13 PAPER #1 DUE; Hereniko, Last Virgin in Paradise
  15 Hereniko, Last Virgin in Paradise
  17 Mid-Semester Holiday
  20 Hereniko, Last Virgin in Paradise
  24 I is a Long Memoried Woman (Video)
  27 Walcott, "What the Twilight Says: An Overture"
  29 Walcott, Dream on Monkey Mountain
  31 Walcott, Dream on Monkey Mountain
Nov. 3 Walcott, Dream on Monkey Mountain
  5 Walcott, Dream on Monkey Mountain
  7 Lovelace, Dragon Can't Dance
  10 Lovelace, Dragon Can't Dance
  12 Lovelace, Dragon Can't Dance
  14 Lovelace, Dragon Can't Dance
  17 Naipaul, Miguel Street
  19 Naipaul, Miguel Street
  21 Naipaul, Miguel Street
Dec. 1 Garcia, Dreaming in Cuban
  3 Garcia, Dreaming in Cuban
  5 Garcia, Dreaming in Cuban
  8 Paper Workshop
  10 PAPER #2 DUE; Review for Final


This course pursues the perennial inquiry into the poetics and politics of literature, focusing on the island literatures of the Caribbean and the South Pacific. Our readings include a brief examination of island narratives written by British and U.S. explorers, traders, and missionaries from the early modern period to the present. Accounts by nineteenth-century Pacific Islands and Caribbean missionaries further establish the historical and cultural bases of the twentieth-century literature that will be our primary focus. We will examine these writers' use of both oral and written forms, by way of considering island aesthetics and the island as a cultural cross-roads.

I will expect you to develop, over the course of the semester, analyses of the ways writers' formal techniques relate to larger cultural and critical issues. As a result, you will be expected to read and think about the material before each class, and present your ideas in short papers, class discussions, weekly e-mail discussions, one ten-minute oral presentation, and two seven-page papers (standard fonts and one-inch margins on all papers, please). You are required to meet with me during the week prior to your presentation. Additionally, I encourage you to meet with me for individual writing conferences (do not wait until the day before the paper is due). In-class writing workshops will allow you to benefit from others' suggestions as well, when you go over papers or working drafts in a small group. Unannounced quizzes on the readings, as well as a mid-semester exam and a final exam, will help ensure that you keep up and allow you to make connections between the readings. I am happy to talk with you at any point about the readings or about your writing. If you cannot make my office hours I would be glad to arrange another appointment.

Attendance and participation are essential and will affect your grade, which will be figured as follows:


Papers 40%

Oral presentation 10%

Weekly contributions to e-mail discussion 10%

Class discussion, attendance, unannounced reading quizzes 20%

Mid-sem and Final 20%


You are allowed three excused absences and you are responsible for any material covered or assigned during your absence. Your final grade will be dropped as much as a whole letter grade for each absence over three. Please do not be late to class. Papers are due on or before the date indicated, and must be turned in at the beginning of the class. Late papers will be penalized (one-third of a grade for each day late, for example, from a B to a B-). To avoid plagiarism, all quotations and paraphrased ideas from other sources must be cited, in accordance with the Honor Code. Any violation of the Honor Code will result in a failing grade. If you have any questions, please see me.

Upload: 02/02/2000

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