History BC 3039x                                                                       Colonial Encounters
Fall 1998

Back to syllabus home page

Short Paper Assignment

Please choose either (A) or (B).

Assignment A:
Write a 5-7 page paper analyzing a primary source relevant to the history of colonialism. Your source may be a novel, a memoir, a collection of letters, a children’s book, or a painting or group of paintings; it may be from a European or a non-European perspective. You can select a source from the attached list, or you may use a source of your own choosing, provided that I approve the text. You should also consult a secondary source relevant to your topic, also to be approved by me. Please append a one-paragraph description of the source--the plot of the novel or film, description of the painting--to the paper.

You can explore any one of the following questions, or you may discuss other relevant issues of interest to you:

1. Consider the value of your novel, memoir, or other primary source as a historical document. How can it be used to reconstruct the history of colonialism? What does your source reveal that other, more traditional historical accounts do not? Does the writer’s particular circumstances or point of view present a distorted perspective? In what way is the work problematic as a historical source? How does the style of the text reflect the historical context in which it was written?

2. Discuss the role of race, ethnicity, or gender in shaping the point of view and actions of the protagonist or central character of the text.

3. How are both European and non-European peoples and cultures portrayed in the work? What is the nature of the relationship between them? What kind of iconography or rhetoric of "Otherness" emerges from the text? How does the work relate to the broader cultural context of the period?

Assignment B:

Trace the colonial and postcolonial history of a geographic or cultural region. What were the specific economic, political, social, and cultural effects of European intrusion? How did indigenous culture react to the imposition of colonial rule? What legacies of colonialism are visible in the postcolonial era?

The paper is due in my box in the History Office, 415 Lehman, on Wednesday, November 25th before 5:00 pm.

Travelers’ accounts, ethnographic literature, memoirs
Thomas More, Utopia
C.F. Beckingham and G.W.B Huntinford, eds., Some Records of Ethiopia, 1593- 1646.
Fynes Moryson, An Itinerary (1626)
Sir John Chardin, Travels in Persia, 1673-1677.
Montesquieu, Persian Letters
J.C. Beaglehole, The Journals of Captain James Cook on His Voyages of Discovery
Joseph-Marie Dégerando, The Observation of Savage Peoples (1800).
Thomas Bowdich, Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee (1819)
Davy Crockett’s Almanac

Florence Nightingale, Letters from Egypt
Gerard de Nerval, Journey to the Orient
Flaubert, Flaubert in Egypt, ed. and trans. Francis Steegmuller.
Sir Richard Francis Burton, First Footsteps in East Africa
R.M. Ballantyne, Black Ivory: A Tale of Adventure among the Slavers of East Africa (1873)
Maud Diver, An Englishwoman in India
Lady Mary Wortley Montague, Turkish Letters
Amelia Edwards, A Thousand Miles up the Nile
Gertrude Bell, The Desert and the Sown
Lady Anne Blunt, Pilgrimage to Najd
Sir Harry Johnston, History of a Slave (1889)
David Livingstone, Livingstone’s Letters
________. Missionary Travels
Henry Stanley,Darkest Africa
________. How I Found Livingstone
Mungo Park, Travels of Mungo Park
Charles Dudley Warner, A Roundabout Journey
T.E. Lawrence, The Letters of T.E. Lawrence
________. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Lady Joy Petersen Packer, Apes and Ivory
Paul Gauguin, Noa Noa
Paul Gauguin, Writings of a Savage
Albert Schweitzer, My Life
R.S.S. Baden-Powell, Scouting for Boys
C.M. Doke, The Lambas of Northern Rhodesia (1920)
Margaret Mead, Coming of Age in Samoa (1928).
Letters from the Field: 1925-1975
Claude Lévi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques, trans. John and Doreen Wightman
Harriet Tytler, An Englishwoman in India
Betty Mahmoody, Not Without My Daughter
D. Kidd, The Essential Kafir (1904)
E. Tylor, Anthropology (1881)
P. Radin, Primitive Man as Philosopher (1927)
Theodor Christlieb, Protestant Foreign Missions (1880)
John MacKenzie, Day-Dawn in Dark Places: A Story of Wanderings and Work in Bechwanaland (1883)
John Telford, Women in the Mission Field: Glimpses of Christian Women Among the Heathen (1895).
Juan Sepulveda, Democrates Alter: Or, On the Just Causes for War Against the Indians
The Journal of Eugene Delacroix.

Harriet Jacob, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Al-Jabarti’s Chronicle of Napoleon in Egypt

Captain Mayne Reid, Boy Hunters of the Mississippi
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Anna Leonowen, The English Governess at the Siamese Court

Novels and Stories
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, The River
Surcliff and Ingelfinger, Captive of the Nootka Indians
Margaret Landon, Anna and the King of Siam
Doris Lessing, The Grass is Singing
The Arabian Nights
J.T. Gorman, Gorilla Gold (1937)
Louis Couperus, The Hidden Force. About the Dutch East Indies c. 1900.
A.C.G. Hastings, Gone Native.
Emily Bradley, Dearest Priscilla (1950): written as a series of letters giving advice to prospective bride of colonial civil servant.
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
Aphra Behn, Oroonoko
Voltaire, Candide
Chateaubriand, Atala
________. René
Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Paul et Virginie
Benjamin Disraeli, Tancred; or, The New Crusade
Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad
James Fenimoore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans
________. The Deerslayer
Rudyard Kipling, Kim
________. The Jungle Book
Gustave Flaubert, Salammbo
Herman Melville, Typee
________. Omoo
________. Benito Cereno
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin
W.H.G. Kingston, Hendricks the Hunter
________. In the Wilds of Africa
R.M. Ballantyne, The Gorilla Hunters
________. Hunting the Lion.
________. Black Ivory
Captain Mayne Reid, The Boy Hunters
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
________. Nigger of the Narcissus
Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days
H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon’s Mines
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan the Ape-Man
D.H. Lawrence, The Plumed Serpent
Isak Dinesen, Shadows on the Grass
________. Out of Africa
Albert Camus, The Stranger
Franz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks.
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
________. Arrow of God
Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, The River Between
V.S. Naipaul, A House for Mr. Biswas
Buchi Emecheta, The Slave Girl
Nadine Gordimer, July’s People
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
Elspeth Huxley, The Flame Trees of Thika
Olive Schreiner, An African Farm
________.  Undine
James Fox, White Mischief
Michel Leiris, L’Afrique fantôme, 1934.
Hylda Richards, Next Year Will be Better

Black Robe
Dances With Wolves
South Pacific
The Sheik
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Alien, Aliens, Alien
Last of the Mohicans
Duck Tales
Mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
The King and I
Rising Sun
Dances with Wolves
Last of the Mohicans
Aguirre the Wrath of God
Delta Force