JPS Seminar Series: “Nervous Conditions”

Thank you all for your participation in discussion over the Nervous Conditions presentation during Community Time last week. Our group wanted to provide a little bit of information and a couple resources in order to keep the discussion going. During this semester, because of the Nervous Conditions novel as well as a supplemental book called Privilege, Power, and Difference by Allan Johnson, we discussed multiple topics but mostly focused on racism, sexism, gender inequality, and educational advantage. In Nervous Conditions especially, we found that gender inequality was a profound theme because the main character constantly felt the struggle of trying to get one leg up in the world, despite being a woman in a male dominant society. We also talked about the fact that many of us don’t even realize that we are privileged, and the effects that that has on us and the rest of the world.

A bit about the Rhodesian culture and government at the time:

“The colonial education system in the then Rhodesia did not have a specific policy for the education of women and girls.  Policies were race specific and gender neutral.  There were two systems of education namely the European Division and the African Division.  The European Division of education was non-fee paying, compulsory and of higher quality.  It was meant for white, coloured and Asian children while the African Division of education, which was neither free nor compulsory and had inadequate provisions was meant for black children” (Chabaya, Dudhlanga 2013).

In case any of you are further interested in learning more about either book that we read, here are some links regarding both the authors, the books, and other writings that they have produced:

Privelege, Power, and Difference

http://www.agjohnson.us

http://www.agjohnson.us/glad/what-is-a-system-of-privilege/

 

Nervous Conditions

http://web.cocc.edu/cagatucci/classes/hum211/dangarembga.htm

http://postcolonialstudies.emory.edu/tsitsi-dangarembga/

 

Here is a link to the TED Talk that we showed during our presentation:

 

 

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