This course investigates what happens when writers for a variety of reasons– personal, political, cultural find themselves outside as well as inside communities, longing for home or creating new "homelands." Amitav Ghosh, an Indian novelist and anthropologist, whose In an Antique Land we will read, puts it this way: "in the geography of human history no culture is an island." This is so, Ghosh explains, because cultures, including island cultures, are "enmeshed" with their neighbors and others in a complex, always shifting, network of differences. These claims are especially apt for modern global cultures, both those which conquered and those which were at one time conquered. For in the ebb and flow of colonial conquest, rule, and liberation, all the cultures involved have found their identities recast in ways that convey the impact of other cultures. One aim of this seminar is to reflect on how these ideas about culture and cultural identity work in contrast to a classic view of culture as a self contained, coherent whole. The vehicle for this reflection is rhetorical: that is, our focus will be how words and images rely on devices of narrative, position and figurality to mark place, rootedness, displacement, relocation, violence , sexuality, trauma, race, and hybrid identities and cultures. The focus of the readings and discussion will be literary and visual "texts," augmented by historical or cultural materials.