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POST-COLONIAL LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN EDU32PLC

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Presentation on theme: "POST-COLONIAL LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN EDU32PLC"— Presentation transcript:

1 POST-COLONIAL LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN EDU32PLC
Lecture 1: INTRODUCTIONS © La Trobe University, David Beagley 2006

2 Me David Beagley d.beagley@latrobe.edu.au
Tuesdays and Thursdays – Rm. 3.16c Education Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays – Information Services, Heyward Library Children’s Literature web site at Emphasis on the Education/ Library distinction. Use for non-face to face messages

3 Unit Unit concept: 4th unit of Children’s Literature “course” and presumes an understanding of literary analysis. Will be more “academic” than previous units, demanding consideration of literature as a social construct and commentary, not just a teaching or recreation tool. Will involve historical, social, cultural, political issues and judgements, as well as literary.

4 Unit Structure: Requirements: 2 lectures, 1 tutorial per week
Attendance and contribution to tutorials and lectures (10%) Portfolio of 4 shorter pieces - 2 commentaries on topics raised in lectures, and 2 studies of extension texts (20%) Major essay (30%) Examination (40%) Listen, Consider, Make an Effort Lectures frame the tutes Tute is only one hour, so there is an expectation that plenty of work is undertaken outside the set class times – reading texts and critical pieces, discussing issues, writing the set pieces

5 Unit Sources and resources:
Unit Outline - Course notes, timetable with reading lists, unit information. Readings on Reserve and E-reserve. Library Subject Guide for Children’s Literature at Children’s Literature web site at Your own research: in library, through databases, and elsewhere (valid and authoritative) Am working on a WebCT interface but it may be a couple of weeks yet.

6 Today’s relevant readings
Bradford, C. (2001) The End of Empire? Colonial and postcolonial journeys in children’s books. Children’s Literature [online]. 29: Available: Proquest Kohl, H. (1995) Should we burn Babar? Questioning power in children’s literature. Should We Burn Babar? Essays on children’s literature and the power of stories. New York: The New Press. Said, E. (1994) Introduction. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage Books The Imperial Archive -http://www.qub.ac.uk/en/imperial/imperial.htm Broadford gives a good overview of the major issues Kohl raises the capacity of children’s books to challenge adult social assumptions Said looks at the way that literature can present and subvert the colonial assumptions

7 Post-colonialism 2 word elements: Post- and Colonialism
Colonialism : Imperialism, control/authority over one culture/society by another. Implied superiority of colonial power, and consequent inferiority of colonised. Post- : after. Thus, the literatures of the colonised, focussing on the effects of that colonisation. Raises lots of questions, especially around definitions of terms, issues and areas of influence

8 Post-colonialism - questions
Who is a colonised people? Australian Aboriginals, Australian Europeans USA : Indians - Native Americans /Europeans/Afro-Americans/Arab-Americans Is it only writing about colonial influence, or any writing? Form and Voice: in own traditional literary forms? in styles of colonial power? by former colonisers in post-colonial forms? Raises lots of questions, especially around definitions of terms, issues and areas of influence

9 Vocabulary Colonialism Imperialism Colony and Empire Imperial centre
Indigenous and Native Expatriate Diaspora Sub-altern Stereotype Archetype Voice Orientalism Colonialism - control/authority over one culture/society by another. Controlling culture is usually external, controlled usually native. May also be based in economics, without direct political or identity domination - e.g. coca-colonialism. Imperialism - the building of empires. Often based on ideas of political, religious or social superiority, and suppression of local identity. Therefore – Colony: the controlled external territory, returning value to the homeland (separation and distinction); Empire: the incorporated entity subsumed into the greater whole (identity) Imperial centre - from, or aligned with, the perspective of the controlling power. Consequent interpretations of actions, situations or issues. Indigenous and Native - originating in a particular place. This is usually by birth, though it may include or require identifying socially with that local place or culture. Expatriate - native of elsewhere residing in a specific place, but still identifying with native “home”. Diaspora - spread of people beyond their original homeland, by migration, exile, imperialism etc. Originally of the Jews, now also any dispersal while maintaining identity. Sub-altern - junior officer rank. In literature, a local sub-set of a larger language/literature, defined by their relation to the larger - e.g. Australian/Indian/New Zealand national literatures as part of English Literature. Stereotype - an image or idea that has become fixed by repetition or acceptance, to the point of cliché. Archetype - a fixed (even original) model of an idea or image, a recurrent motif or theme that is developed and varied while maintaining homage to the original. Voice - expression of the distinct identity of a culture or people, in contrast to (or despite) relation to a colonising or alternative culture or people. Orientalism – the definition of the “East” by the “West” as something different, exotic, unlike the familiar. The implied authority and power to do so.

10 Colonial Values Common pattern throughout recorded history – Egypt, Persia, Rome, China etc. From 1500s, imperialistic European countries ‘claimed’ new world colonies in Africa, India, South America, North America, Asia, and Australia for various reasons: cheap raw materials for ‘home’ industries; trade advantages over rival European countries; belief in the need to exert global influence against rivals. missionary zeal/duty to bring civilization – c.f. Pax Romana, Crusades, Cold War Let us start our study of the Post-colonial with an understanding of the Colonial

11 The White Man’s Burden - Civilization and the Exotic
Rudyard Kipling - The White Man’s Burden Henry Newbolt - Vitae Lampada Civilization is the key. Newbolt expresses the essence of dutiful empire ruler - the schoolboy who can rule the world but has to do it properly … “It’s not cricket” otherwise. The superiority of civilized behaviour. Clifton School. The Close. WG Grace. Gatling/square and other technical details. White man’s burden - duty to rule and rule wisely, for the betterment of humanity, even if the ruled do not appreciate it. This validates the authority to rule and conquer, despite so many opposing the idea (e.g. Christianity, democracy etc.)

12 The White Man’s Burden - Civilization and the Exotic
Explorer/Native, Ruler/Ruled distinctions Each is defined by the other; e.g.: For the explorer to discover, the discovery must be unknown by civilization For the “Ruler” to be superior, the “Ruled” must be inferior For this relationship to be ongoing, it must be validated: Civilization, improvement Morality, religion Duty, role Key defining aspects are attitudes and relationships – attitudes of ruler to ruled and the expectation of attitude of the ruled in return; the relationships that these attitudes engender (or are supposed to engender): subservience/subordination, superiority, resentment, gratitude

13 Physical environment The physical environment was seen as:
‘unowned’ and ‘uninhabited’ – terra nullius rich in natural resources (including humans for the slave trade) but dangerous because of local fauna and flora places for ‘exploration’ and heroic adventure as both exotic, tropical paradise and as over-heated, disease-ridden exile from ‘home’ not a suitable place for females from ‘home’ to live Consider Robinson Crusoe, Swiss family Robinson, Treasure Island – the exotic but dangerous. There to be exploited, developed, made civilized.

14 Indigenous peoples The indigenous peoples were seen as:
childlike primitives in need of education, western civilisation and religion dangerous sub-human heathens who needed to be eradicated – standing in the way of civilization having inferior, primitive customs, eating habits, clothing, housing, social values, and primitive superstitions and beliefs arrested evolutionary and cultural development not having the rights of western people, and therefore appropriate to treat as slaves and trophies to be brought ‘home’ to Europe and North America.

15 The duty of the colonizers
Colonisers in these colonies were expected to: provide a model of behaviour for the indigenous people, yet … remain separate from ‘locals’ maintain the standards of ‘home’

16 So, where does Literature come into all this?
Literature is an indicator of what matters, and what has happened, in a society Colonial literature presents the colonial ethos Post-colonial represents how the world has changed Literature can be an agent for change Can rewrite the colonial history to highlight what was suppressed Can seek to achieve de-colonization by re-establishing identity and pride subverting the colonial themes, genres, values or language Can reshape current attitudes by recognition of the past Colonial literature presents the colonial ethos – that is why we start with consideration of colonial literature and issues that it raises


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