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Explication de textes : semestre d'automne : Fred D'Aguiar's Feeding the Ghosts.

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

Responsable(s): Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet
Intervenant(s): -

Période de validité: 2010 -> 2010

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre d'automne
2 heures par semaine
28 heures par semestre

Langue(s) d'enseignement: anglais
Public: Oui
Crédits: 0


This seminar aims at developing the critical tools and skills introduced in ILA while paying close attention to the particular context of D'Aguiar's writing and the specificities of his aesthetics. At the end of the semester, students will be able to analyse prose fiction in terms of narration, structure and language. They will also have acquired some basic knowledge of the fields of postcolonial literature and theory and will be able to make connections with other texts by Afro-Caribbean and African American authors.


This class will focus on a novel by a British writer of Caribbean origin, Fred D'Aguiar's Feeding the Ghosts (1997). The novel offers a fictional account of a historical event: in 1781, the crew of the slave ship Zong threw 132 (allegedly) sick African slaves overboard in order to collect insurance and ensure a decent profit. D'Aguiar's particular treatment of the story offers a good basis for exploring notions of narrative technique (structure, point of view, style, language...). The novel also raises important issues and themes that are recurring in the literature of the Black Diaspora, notably the history and memory of slavery.
Students will get some relevant background knowledge on American slavery and the Atlantic slave trade.
To enrich our appreciation of the novel, we will also look at other texts (poems, paintings, slave narratives) that deal with the same topic or issues.

Note: Although the author is of British nationality, the focus of this seminar places it in the field of American literature.


written assignments (essays), oral contributions


The book being out of print, it cannot be ordered from traditional bookshops. Students must get their own copies via Amazon or AbeBooks for example (which have very cheap first-hand and second-hand copies that can be delivered quickly), preferably the paperback Vintage 1998 edition.
If you have difficulties getting a copy (in time), please let me know and we'll arrange someting.

All other reading material will be distributed in class or made available via Moodle.

Exigences du cursus d'études

Niveau B2 (cadre européen commun de référence)

Informations supplémentaires


Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15