Stranger in the Sacred Grove: Nature and Sexual Politics in Shakuntala

Women have been associated with nature for many reasons: throughout time, both have been muses and conquests for men. The terminology we use to refer to nature, like “mother nature,” “virgin,” “fertile,” and “barren,” all allude to female sexuality. In Kalidasa’s play Shakuntala, the main character, the King, enters sacred land on the hunt for… Read more Stranger in the Sacred Grove: Nature and Sexual Politics in Shakuntala

The Vietnam War

Reading Kevin Nguyen’s piece on Ken Burns’s The Vietnam War got me thinking about so much, namely the jingoistic attitude of many Americans… and also this picture, which I conveniently saw this morning. A lot of Americans have always thought of our country as heroic and infallible, but many of the wars we’ve fought suggest… Read more The Vietnam War

Joy Harjo

I was excited to read Joy Harjo for this week! I did a brief analysis on “When The World as We Knew it Ended” for a class in the past and was grateful for the chance to dig into her work more. I thought the conversation on Monday about if some of her poems were… Read more Joy Harjo

Christianity as an Oppressive and Inspirational Force in the Works of Olaudah Equiano and Phillis Wheatley

            Historically, Christianity and colonialism have been inextricably linked, with Christianity so often being one of the tools that Europeans use to “civilize” Indigenous populations throughout the world. However, Christianity has also become invaluable to many of these colonized peoples, and it is reductive to strip them of their individuality and agency by looking at… Read more Christianity as an Oppressive and Inspirational Force in the Works of Olaudah Equiano and Phillis Wheatley

Soyinka questions

These should have been posted earlier but here they are now! The bride character really interested me because by the time we got to the end of the play, I don’t think she even got a single speaking line, did she? At the end of the play, she sits silently, almost facelessly, as her face… Read more Soyinka questions

Universality, “relatability,” and… Instagram poetry

This section from After Empire prompted me to wonder about universality: “Is it too utopian to imagine that the African novel could exist simply as a novel, absolved of its social and pedagogical mission? Achebe has been fiercely critical of those who search for “universality” in African fiction, arguing that such a standard is never… Read more Universality, “relatability,” and… Instagram poetry

The price of freedom

Equiano makes more speculations about his situation in chapters 5-8 than he did in the first four. It was tragic to hear him lament that he felt his enslavement was a punishment by God, and to wonder why Christians could own slaves when it seems like slavery goes against all of their values. It was… Read more The price of freedom

Hierarchy

One of my questions is: what exactly convinced Equiano that these white men were superior to his people, instead of just different? I no longer looked upon them as spirits, but as men superior to us; and therefore I had the stronger desire to resemble them; to imbibe their spirit, and imitate their manners; I… Read more Hierarchy