For every Module this term, you are expected to interact with one piece of outside material/text of your choosingan image, painting, song, story, poem, photo, sculpture, advertisment, etcin order to help crystalize your knowledge of the materials covered. Your assignment is to analyze the selected material/text in order to convey the depth of your understanding of some aspect of the preceding Module, as covered in your reading, our shared lecture notes, and this unit’s Panopto lecture. How does the material/text you’ve chosen embody the main themes and concerns of the Module? How does it help you to navigate one of the primary issues at hand? Why, specifically, do you think that this selected piece of material/text helps you to better comprehend a dimension of the Module? There are no right or wrong answers, simply your answersin other words, you are asked here to analyze/interpret the material/text you’ve chosen in order to communicate to me your grasp of the subject matter we’ve covered in this Module. For this Outside Text Engagement, I want you to choose a ‘text’ that helps you discuss Colonialism/imperialism, the dangers of a single story, and/or to work through some of the issues we’ve broached in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Please aim for approximately two to three paragraphs in your written analysis here.Ideally, you will find a text/material that speaks to you personallythat is drawn from your own life, your own experiences, or somehow relates to you personally. This material can be contemporary, historical, public, or privateor anywhere in between. The point is for your selection to speak to you. As with the first two Outside Text Engagements, I have provided ideas/examples below that you can elect to use for this assignment. Feel free to choose any of the below as your subject for analysis in this assignment, or to select your ownthere are limitless choices!Films/videos:1) “Apocalypse Now,” by Francis Ford Coppola (a legendary 20th Century film based loosely on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, but set in Vietnam. Charting an American GI’s journey up the river and deep into a kind of madness, echoing Marlow’s journey in Conrad’s work, looking for a brilliant but potentially insane defector named Kurtz, Coppola’s film is a working illustration and indictment of the Western colonial impulse, which lives on well into our modern era). Available for rent on on Amazon, iTunes, etc.2) Vice News Episode: “Bananas!”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Bm5NWCMlPo (Links to an external site.)This news program video explores colonial history from a very different perspective, the dangers and propagation of monoculture agriculture. Looking at bananas in particular, and using them as a kind of symbol for the history and practice of Western imperialism, the episode acts as a striking condemnation and cautionary tale of the hubris that underpins the exportation of any single commodity across the entire globehere, it’s bananas, but the points made in the segment are equally true of the exportation of any single culture (monoculture, of a different sort), political regime, mechanism of authority, or worldview. A really interesting way to think through colonialism, and a useful introduction to the colonial history of Central and South America, which we will be exploring next vis-a-vis Magical Realism in literature.Art/other:The British Museum. While by no means the only nationally sponsored museum curating/displaying artifacts with problematic histories, the British Museum has come under fire in recent years for its decision to ignore the fact that much of its art was stolen or otherwise misbegotten during colonial enterprises by its government abroad, and serves as a interesting jump-off point for your contemplations of colonial history, such as was explored by Achebe in Things Fall Apart. This factthat a British institution is in possession of and profits from vast amounts of African (and other global) art that it did not exactly ask nicely to borrow is a uniquely apt point of consideration for our purposes, having just finished Things Fall Apart, which ends with the District Commissioner essentially taking possession of the entire story of Okonkwo’s tragic life, working its material into a form he found suitable and editing its story to fit his own purposes (as he notes in the last paragraph of the book, “one must be careful in knowing what to leave out”), condensing it for his own benefit into a brief note in a racist textbook he is authoring for personal gain and glory, and then exiting the scene of the crime without taking any responsibility for the death of Achebe’s main character. Much to think about here, I suggest…https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/africa (Links to an external site.)Any number of examples of Igbo Art, which can be found across the internetincluding the Igbo’s storied history of mask-making, which features prominently in Things Fall Apart in the saga of the desecrated Egwugwuand which were in many instances stolen, destroyed, or otherwise effaced by British colonials. How does the art itself reflect pre-colonial Igbo society, and how does the disappearance and destruction of much of this art reflect the process of colonialism as Achebe depicts it in Things Fall Apart? Wikipedia is a decent starting point, but more striking examples abound than are iterated here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igbo_art (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)Art and literature related to any aspect of the British Empire. While we’ve focussed on African colonial history in the last few weeks, that continent is by no means the only one that faced the perils of British colonizationand, obviously, the British were by no means the only Western power to engage in widespread colonization across the globe (America may indeed hold the current mantle for most global imperial influence at present, which might be a good thing to consider as you work through your selection of an outside text for this assignment…) The British also colonized India, Hong Kong, and numerous other locations during the reign of the British Empire; art, literature, or other ‘texts’ related to this epoch of global history might be worth considering for this project. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Empire (Links to an external site.)
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