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Sunday, July 15, 2012

My PhD Reading List -- For the Exams of Doom

Obviously, I'm in this thing called a PhD program.  In English (not Creative Writing).  And that means I have to take a series of exams (half written component and half oral).  As such, it's necessary for me to have a reading list of primary and secondary texts (in my case, literature for the primary and theory/history/architecture for the secondary -- some English majors do it the other way around).

Before I give you the list, it might be important to tell you want I'm doing.  I am studying the spatial organization of empire in the Caribbean.  In other words, I want to know how empires constructed themselves as physical and social spaces and how that reflects in the literature of Caribbean peoples.  That's the short version anyway.

Now for the list:
(Early Period)
The English in the West Indies, Or, the Bow of Ulysses by James Anthony Froude (1888)
Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands by Mary Seacole (1857)
Rupert Gray, a Study in Black and White by Stephen N. Cobham (1907)
Emmanuel Appadocca by Michel Maxwell Philip (1854)

(Modern and Mid-20th Century)
Minty Alley by C. L. R. James (1936)
A Morning at the Office by Edgar Mittelholzer (1950)
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (1966)
Brother Man by Roger Mais (1954)

The Enigma of Arrival by V. S. Naipaul (1987)
Frangipani House by Beryl Gilroy (1986)
Cambridge by Caryl Phillips (1991)
A Map to the Door of No Return:  Notes to Belonging by Dionne Brand (2004)

(Genre and Related Contemporary)
Crystal Rain by Tobias S. Buckell (2006)
Ragamuffin by Tobias S. Buckell (2007)
Sly Mongoose by Tobias S. Buckell (2008)(note:  there is a fourth book coming out in this series, which I may add to this list at a later time)
Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson (2000)
Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord (2010)

Theory, History, etc.
(Spatial Theory)
The Production of Space by Henri Lefebvre
The Urban Experience by David Harvey
The Road to Botany Bay:  An Essay in Spatial History by Paul Carter
The Archaeologies of the Future by Fredric Jameson
The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard

(Caribbean History, Postcolonial Theory, etc.)
Writing in Limbo by Simon Gikandi
Poetics of Relation by Edouard Glissant
The Repeating Island:  the Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective by Rojo Antonio Benitez
The Pleasures of Exile by George Lamming
The British Caribbean:  From the Decline of Colonialism to the End of Federation by Elisabeth Wallace
Yards in the City of Kingston by Erna Brodber


Any suggested additions?

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  1. Hi

    If you want someone to talk to about Ph.D. quals, lemme know. I'm not in your field/sub specialty (English lit, Medieval-1832, Medieval English and Celtic langs/lits for me) but I can at least maybe remind you that there is life after.

    Either way, you persevere. And try to find things to enjoy/love about the texts, despite the exams.

  2. Thanks. I think I got the exams pretty covered in terms of expectation. Just need to finish up the remaining drafts for exam materials!