Critical analysis of Dionne Brand’s work


Assignment Instructions:


Write a four page (plus bibliography) critical analysis of Dionne Brand’s work relating to two course themes, including a close reading of two passages from the text.


You must substantively engage with at least two readings from the course. This means that you must work through two relevant passages and explicitly consider the specific details of both form and content in relation to the two chosen readings. Take note of the details and multiple meanings of Brand’s prose. It is your task to closely read, interpret, and re-articulate Brand’s work in your own words.


Your chosen themes might include, for example: colonialism, Orientalism, the construction of the ‘Other,’ the production of the ‘Third World’ subject, citizenship and nationhood, kinship and belonging, the Wake and the Door of No Return, and/or the construction of the black body. Be sure that you clearly state what themes/topics you are using, which author(s) you are drawing from, and the topic’s significance to the text, as well as more broadly to the stakes of feminism.


When analyzing a passage, some questions to consider are: What is Brand working to articulate in this particular passage? What is the significance of the passage and how does it relate to the text as a whole? What is she describing, and how is she doing so? What words is she using? Is she making references to other work or concepts from course material? What sources, including her own life, is she drawing from and why is this important?


No outside readings are required, but if you decide to do so, please only use peer-reviewed academic sources and/or popular sources that are directly relevant to the text and Brand’s work (i.e. newspaper articles, book reviews, etc.).


Remember this is a formal essay assignment, so your paper should include: introduction, conclusion, a thesis statement and clear argument, bibliography. Take some extra time to revise and edit your work to improve your writing and articulation.


Suggested Course Material:


Himani Bannerji. 2000. “Geography Lessons: On Being an Insider/Outsider to the Canadian Nation.” The Dark Side of the Nation: Essays on Multiculturalism, Nationalism and Gender.

Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press. 63-86.


Saidiya Hartman. 2008. “Prologue: The Path of Strangers” & “One: Afrotopia.” Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 3-48.


Jamaica Kincaid. 1988. A Small Place. New York: Farrar, Straus and Groux. 1-37.


Christina Sharpe. 2016. “Chapter 1: The Wake.” In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. Durham: Duke University Press. 1-24.


Videos You May Use:


Dionne Brand, Honourary Doctorate Address, U of T, OISE:


Don Lemon in Ghana:


President Barack Obama in Ghana:

Pt. 1:

Pt. 2:


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