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culture and of history.

by | Jan 26, 2022 | Uncategorized

 

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1. Read: Chapter-6 in Barker & Jane; Uma Narayan, “Undoing the Package Picture” of Cultures”; Gayatri Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?”; and Edward Said, “From Orientalism.”
2. For this week readings, we revisit essentialist views of culture and of history. And the assigned authors encourage us to consider the historical and especially the political conditions in which idea and knowledge are formed. Consider how they challenge the taken-for granted meanings embedded in economic, political and social knowledge about the world (universal truths), in which knowledge is dominated by western constructions – the standard criterion for evaluating other cultures.
For example, Narayan concern about essentialism in activism mirrors Said’s concern about essentialism in academia and Spivak’s concern about the single story (what she describes as “epistemic violence”), that was being told about the colonized in India by the colonists.
Our job is to examine and analyze how the authors employ and apply postmodernists/poststructuralists thinking in their arguments (e.g., Foucault’s discussion of the regulatory power of discourse and how we are subject to it; Jacques Derrida’s deconstructionism etc.) and their critique of modernity/modernism.

 

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