Fachportal der Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften in der Schweiz

Herbstsemester 2015: Prof. Dr. Ana Sobral

About Prof. Dr. Ana Sobral

Ana Sobral is Assistant Professor of Global Literatures in English at the University of Zurich.

Born in Angola and raised partially there and partially in Portugal, Ana Sobral studied English and German Literatures and Languages at the University of Porto, Portugal. She went on to do a PhD in American Studies at the University of Konstanz, Germany. Her book Opting Out: Deviance and Generational Identities in American Post-War Cult Fiction came out in 2012. Her current research project deals with the performance of transculturality and reflections of globalization in popular music. Her teaching and research interests include postcolonial studies, cultural globalization, intermediality, narration through new media (the Internet, popular music) and memory studies. Ana Sobral has published articles and book chapters on rap and poetry in the Global South, Islamic feminism, the performative aspects of the Arab Spring, and the links between popular music, migration and cosmopolitanism.

English Department, University of Zurich

Seminar: Ghostly Ancestors and Creole Identities in Anglophone Carribean Literatures

One of the pivotal areas of colonial enterprise since Christopher Columbus reached the Bahamas in 1492, the Caribbean became the stage for major developments in European colonialism. The highly conflictual history of the region has left indelible marks in the collective memory of its people and has strongly influenced literary production. This seminar examines the ways in which the past has shaped the present in Caribbean cultures and literatures.

Covering major topics such as exploration travels, slave trade, piracy, plantation slavery, slave uprisings, maroon communities, racial miscegenation and the experience of women, our focus in this course is on Anglophone Caribbean narratives that reflect the area's history of occupation and struggle for independence. The course discusses foremost postcolonial writers such as Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua), Edward Brathwaite (Barbados), Derek Walcott (Saint Lucia) and Michelle Cliff (Jamaica), and it explores a variety of texts and media, ranging from novels and poetry to essays, Reggae music and film. Our discussions are shaped by theoretical reflections on issues of creolization and hybridity, as well as by cultural memory studies.