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Cornell University    
  Feb 25, 2018
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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SPAN 2240 - Perspectives on the Caribbean

(crosslisted) ASRC 2240 , LATA 2240  
(GB) (CA-AS)      
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.

Conducted in English.

S. McDaniel.

This course examines the Caribbean as a site where challenges to and within Western thought emerged. We analyze the ways in which freedom is described in revolutionary thinking by interrogating the following themes in four sections. In the first section, we analyze the difficulties that 16th-century theologians experienced in determining if the “Indian” possessed a soul and if the Spanish crown could wage a “just war” against indigenous “pagans”: this debate was crucial for the New World origins of disciples such as anthropology and international relations. In the second section, we examine the Haitian Revolution in order to describe and interrogate the philosophical and historical relations between master and slave. In the third section, we look at writings such as the Communist manifesto and Che Guevara’ essays in order to analyze the difficulties of articulating the relationship between man and socialism in Cuba. In the final section, we examine the problems of designating who constitutes the native “we” and the foreign “them” in the neoliberal economic revolution that is taking place in Jamaica; for this discussion, we will read Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place and view Stephanie Black’s film, Life and Debt.

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