Sandra Widmer
Department of
Profile Research AN3030 AN3160 AN4560

ANTH3030 3.0 Discourses of Colonialism

Time: (Fall) Wed 11:30-2:30 FC 108

What do sixteenth century explorer's accounts of cannibalism, late nineteenth century colonial census records of Fijian villages, and the 1989-90 exhibit Into the Heart of Africa at the Royal Ontario Museum have in common? They are all discourses of colonialism. They are part of a process by which much of the world has been, and still is, imagined and represented as an object of Euro-American expansion and control.

This course examines the role played by these and other practices and events in the formation of those attitudes and stereotypes that shape political and economic domination. The topics covered in this course cover three main themes. In the first section of the course, we trace the genealogies of "the other" by examining the historical foundations of European "imperial culture" in art, literature, and science. This section considers how these cultural forms shaped notions of gender, race, and human evolution and impelled the expansion of European empire through the representation of non-European peoples as needing salvation and requiring domination.
In the second section of the course, we consider how these historically situated discourses are linked to modernist images of salvation, education, labour, health, race, and gender in the establishment and maintenance of a colonial order. In the final section of the course, we look at the persistence of colonial discourse in contemporary, postcolonial theories of race, development, and globalization.






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