"Postcolonial Theory and Gender," A Lecture by Sharmila Sen
Sharmila Sen, Associate Professor of English at Mercer County Community College, will present an overview of postcolonial theory and gender on Wednesday, April 26 at noon in CM 159. Her lecture is part of the Africans in the Diaspora series.
Sen, who is chair of the college's Mercer Curriculum Project, said the lecture series "is a brilliant way to emphasize and reinforce, in a positive way, some of the issues we deal with in the classroom."
She will conclude her talk with a poem by Grace Nichols that, she says, "captures the postcolonial experience and displacement of women."
Grace Nichols was born in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1950 and grew up in a small country village on the Guyanese coast. She moved to the city with her family when she was eight, an experience central to her first novel, "Whole of a Morning Sky" (1986), set in 1960s Guyana in the middle of the country's struggle for independence.
She worked as a teacher and journalist and, as part of a Diploma in Communications at the University of Guyana, spent time in some of the most remote areas of Guyana, a period that influenced her writings and initiated a strong interest in Guyanese folk tales, Amerindian myths and the South American civilizations of the Aztec and Inca. She has lived in the UK since 1977.
I Hang by Grace Nichols
I leave me people, me land, me home
For reasons I not too sure
I forsake de sun
And de humming-bird splendour
Had big rats in de floorboard
So I pick up me new-world-self
And come to this place call England
At first I feeling like I in a dream -
De misty greyness
I touching the walls to see if they real
They solid to de seam
And de people pouring from de underground system
And when I look up to de sky
I see Lord Nelson high - too high to lie.
And is so I sending home photos of myself
Among de pigeons and de snow
And is so I warding off de cold
And is so, little by little
I begin to change my calypso ways
Never visiting nobody
Before giving them clear warning
And waiting me turn in queue
Now, after all this time
I get accustom to de English life
But I still miss back-home side
To tell you de truth
I don't know really where I belaang
Yes, divided to de ocean
Divided to de bone
Wherever I hang me knickers - that's my home.
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