2020-2021 Catalog 
    Oct 24, 2021  
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

CMLT 499 A - The Myths of the “Oriental” Woman

During the era of Western imperialism, Europeans viewed Asia, Africa, and the Middle-East in a variety of ways: dark, erotic, exotic, savage, and uncivilized. The people of these supposedly untamed lands were observed, explored, and exploited by Western imperialists. Rarely were these people given a voice of their own, and rarely were they viewed as autonomous humans on par with the “civilized” Western world. For women in these countries, their oppression was twofold. They were often second-class citizens in the patriarchal societies in which they lived and they were also exoticized and orientalized by Western white men traveling in these lands. Such stereotypes of these women have included: the scary but seductive dragon ladies of China, the demure geisha of Japan, and the sexy belly dancers and mysteriously veiled women from the Arab world. The goal of this course is to explore these stereotypes. Why were they created? Why do they still persist? What are women from the “Orient” truly like? And why is it dangerous to allow such stereotypes to exist? Readings include: Memoirs of a Geisha, The Good Earth, 1001 Arabian Nights, Raja Alem’s Fatma, Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book, Kyung -Sook Shin’s Please Look After Mom, The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong, Natsuo Kirino’s Out, and Rana Husseini’s Murder in the Name of Honor. This course is cross-listed with WGS 499F and counts for the WGS major/minor. (Group III) (Diversity, Writing Option)