dr. J.M.L. (Jeanette) den Toonder
Theories of Gender and Intersectionality (BA jaar 3, 1e semester 2023-2024)
This course familiarises you with key theories and concepts in gender studies, including some of the most recent developments. We take the separation between sex and gender as our point of departure and continue to discuss different conceptualisations of gender relevant since then. We do so by reading different source texts and discussing them together. We aim to look beyond conceptualisations of gender as a separate category from e.g. class, race, sexuality by going beyond the white western canon.
Special topics 1a Canada and the US: Political Negotiations of (Cultural) Differences (BA year 2, semester 2 2023-2024)
This course unit presents an introduction to Canadian society from a historical and comparative perspective, focusing on transatlantic relationships with Europe as well as on the convergences and (cultural) differences between Canada and the U.S. By examining a variety of topics such as the connection between Francophone and Anglophone Canada and bilingualism, Free Trade Agreements, popular culture, media and national identity, representations of space and identity, federal and provincial politics in relation to Indigenous peoples, you will gain insight in the complexity of Canadian society and questions of identity, Canada's transatlantic allegiance, and its dynamic relationship with the U.S.
Special topics 1b Canada's Cultural Mosaic: Diversity as Strength? (BA year 2, semester 2 2022-2023)
One of the most important elements of Canadian federal policy was the introduction of official multiculturalism in the 1970s. In 1988, the federal government passed the Canadian Multiculturalism Act. Central to this policy was the official recognition of the diverse cultures in a plural society. In understanding official multiculturalism in a broader context, it is necessary to first examine its basic values. This examination will be followed by a critical discussion of the situation of cultural and linguistic minorities within Canada, which will for example touch upon questions of liberal multiculturalism, multicultural theory and practices, postcolonialism, mixed race and so-called visible minorities. The course also includes a comparative perspective,examining immigration policies and issues of citizenship in Canada, Europe and the U.S. and discussing the Canadian mosaic in relation to the U.S. melting pot.
French-Iranian Women's Literature (MA, semester 2, 2023-2024)
For many decades, France was the privileged place for the Iranian elite to study in Europe. Most of this elite was francophone, and France was their terrain of political formation. Since the Iranian revolution of 1979, the image of France acquires a new meaning, when Iranian intellectuals went into exile primarily in France during the first years of the revolution. In this course we will examine the Iranian diaspora through the female voice by considering a variety of issues such as gender politics, the role of female migrant writers as cultural transmitters, religious representations and national symbols and the (im)possibility of a transnational voice. The case-studies will focus on Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel/film Persepolis (2001/2007), Chahdortt Djavann's novel Comment peut-on être français? (2006),Nahal Tajadod’s autobiographical account Passeport à l'iranienne (2007) and Négar Djavadi's novel Désorientale (2016).
This course will be taught in French.
Migrant and Minority Writers. Crossing Borders and Building Bridges in the Postcolonial era (MA, semester 2, 2023-2024)
In this course we propose to examine the theory of cultural transfer in relation to migrant writing and the notion of minority cultures. We are interested in the role of migrant and minority writers as cultural transmitters and bridge builders between cultures. We will contextualize literature of migrant authors and descendants of ‘guest workers’ that for political and/or economic reasons have migrated to or within Western Europe and North America. We will also investigate to what extent literature of historical minorities can be contextualized in the same way. In order to define the notion of migrant and minority cultures and to have a critical tool-set ready, we will discuss theoretical texts that focus on different methodological approaches such as post-colonialism, hybridity, transculturality, subalternity, and Indigenous epistemologies. Particular attention will also be paid to the position of young post-migration writers in the literary field, and to literary and media discourse regarding urban youths and street culture values. We will examine texts written by authors that pinpointed cultural minorities in the postcolonial era, covering a variety of literary landscapes.
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