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Author

Kerry Boland

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Julietta Singh

Abstract

Both J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace and Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People offer unsettling depictions of postcolonial male heterosexuality that beg readers to rethink dominant understandings of human and animal. Each novel plays upon a neocolonial sexual discourse that intimately ties the central characters’ sexual expressions to their respective political relationships with colonial histories and, in turn, their claim to being human.1 Since the logic of colonization relies upon the dehumanization of others, anti-colonial thinkers have often cast the colonial relation as one that renders animal those who are colonized. For example, in Discourse on Colonialism, Aimé Césaire posits that “the colonizer…in order to ease his conscience gets into the habit of seeing the other man as an animal” (41). By stripping “the other” of his humanity and repositioning him “as an animal,” colonial power justifies its violence. This process of dehumanization necessarily positions the animal as a lesser being to the human.

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