This course is designed as a capstone course offering students an opportunity to integrate and reflect upon what they have learned in the major while focusing on current topics and critical debates in English studies. Students are expected to be able to build on courses they have taken before and should consult individual colloquium co-ordinators before registering for the course. There will be no formal lectures but weekly meetings for the discussion of texts and issues, led by students. Assessment will be based on contributions to colloquium discussions and a final essay.
Wednesday, 12:30 - 14:20, CPD-3.15
In this senior colloquium, we will read tragic works of postcolonial literature. By doing this, we will develop an attentiveness to the poetic recourse that postcolonial writers take when they grasp, in the spirit of Antigone, how the urgent requirements of mourning shape the formulation of politics and resistance. We will study the emergence of tragedy as a dramatic, narrative, and philosophical form in postcolonial literature with a special focus on the work of Afro-diasporic writers. Much attention has been paid to the tragic content of postcolonial literary works (for example, to the prevailing themes of displacement, suffering, and catastrophe) as well as to adaptations of primarily Greek and Shakespearean tragedies (for example, Wole Soyinka’s The Bacchae of Euripides, Aimé Césaire’s A Tempest, Tayeb Salih’s A Season of Migration to the North). Nevertheless, more aesthetically oriented literary critical work is necessary to comprehend neglected formal aspects of the modern tragedies that abound in the postcolonial canon, even and especially when the literary works in question are not explicitly marked as tragedies. Attending to these overlooked formal dimensions, this colloquium will seek for ways to study the buried politics within the development of a transnational and transhistorical modern tragedy, a genre that is not a mere imitation of Western tragedy but a unique critical response to imperialism’s violence.
Wednesday, 14:30 - 16:20, CPD-3.16
In most, if not all, workplaces much of what gets done, for example, assigning certain tasks to employees, checking their progress, making decisions, is achieved through talk. Besides getting work-related things done, people also negotiate and maintain their workplace relationships through talk. Much of discourse-oriented research has been dedicated to professional and workplace communication and the role of language in achieving the so-called transactional (work task-related) and relational (relationship-oriented) goals at work. In this course the students will be introduced to some theoretical and methodological foundations of discourse research on workplace and professional communication through the work of leading scholars in the field. Students will be divided into small groups to lead discussion sessions on selected topics, including the topics of how workplace and professional communication has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as reflected in the most up-to-date research.