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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Contemporary Postcolonial Writing (ENLI10361)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to introduce students to recent writing in English across a range of genres - novels, films, poetry and non-fiction prose - by authors from countries around the globe. It presents students with a range of perspectives and debates that have entered literary theory via postcolonial studies, and seeks to prompt them to use these ideas to reconsider texts they have read in other classes and contexts.
Course description Week 1: Introduction to the course
Week 2: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006)
Week 3: M. NourbeSe Philip, Zong! (2008)
Week 4: Ashutosh Gowariker (dir.), Lagaan (2001)
Week 5: Kate Grenville, The Secret River (2005)
Week 6: Thomas King, Green Grass Running Water (1993)
Week 7: Damien O'Donnell (dir.), East is East (1999)
Week 8: Andrea Levy, Small Island (2004)
Week 9: J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace (1999)
Week 10: Review & conclusion

The literature of the Anglophone world outside the British Isles is extraordinarily rich and diverse, and can be productively considered through the lens of postcolonial theory, a body of thought that is attentive to the ways literary production is inflected by historical, geographical and cultural factors resulting from the aftereffects of imperialism. Through a selection of literary texts and films by African, Australian, Canadian, Caribbean, Indian and English authors, we will explore how those living with the legacies of colonialism used their work to engage with this history, and how their texts "write back" to the canon of English literature, problematising its representational strategies and asking us to reconsider how, and why, literary value is assigned. The course is divided into three broad themes - colonial encounters, indigenous voices and historical legacies - and will cover topics including diaspora, hybridity, orality, gender, "race", resistance, and national identity. As we go, we will continue to interrogate the concept of the postcolonial. What are its limitations? What does it obscure? And how useful is it as an analytical category for studying literature?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students should be able to:

- engage critically with primary texts and demonstrate how they relate to the concerns that have emerged from postcolonial theory;
- explain the meaning and significance of a range of concepts central to postcolonial studies (such as hybridity, orientalism, essentialism, subaltern);
- articulate some of the complexities of the relationship between texts written in colonial/postcolonial nations, and canonical works of literature produced in centres of cultural and political dominance;
- defend their point of view on the above topics both verbally, in class discussions, and in written form.
Reading List
Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso/NLB, 1983. Print.
Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin, eds. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. London: Routledge, 1995. Print.
Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. Post-Colonial Studies: The Key Concepts. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2007. Print.
Benwell, Bethan, James Procter, and Gemma Robinson. Postcolonial Audiences: Readers, Viewers and Reception. New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.
Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture: Critical Theory and the Postcolonial Perspective. London: Routledge, 1994. Print.
Boehmer, Elleke. Colonial and Postcolonial Literature: Migrant Metaphors. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.
Boehmer, Elleke, Katy Iddiols, and Robert Eaglestone, eds. J.M. Coetzee in Context and Theory. London: Continuum, 2009. Print.
Davidson, Arnold E., Priscilla L. Walton, and Jennifer Andrews. Border Crossings: Thomas King's Cultural Inversions. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003. Print.
Eichorn, Kate. "Multiple Registers of Silence in M. Nourbese Philip's Zong!" XCP: Cross-Cultural Poetics 23 (2010): 33-39. Print.
Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks. London: Pluto Press, 1986. Print.
Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993. Print.
Goebel, Walter, and Saskia Schabio, eds. Locating Postcolonial Narrative Genres. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.
Head, Dominic. J.M. Coetzee. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. Print.
Innes, Catherine Lynette. The Cambridge Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Print.
Kossew, Sue, ed. Lighting Dark Places: Essays on Kate Grenville. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010. 17-38. Print.
Kossew, Sue. Writing Woman, Writing Place: Contemporary Australian and South African Fiction. London: Routledge, 2004. Print.
Lazarus, Neil. The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Print.
Lazarus, Neil. Nationalism and Cultural Practice in the Postcolonial World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Print.
Quayson, Ato. Postcolonialism: Theory, Practice, or Process? Malden, Mass.: Polity Press, 2000. Print.
Said, Edward W. Orientalism. London: Penguin, 2003. Print.
Sell, Jonathan, ed. Metaphor and Diaspora in Contemporary Writing. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Print.
Stadtler, Florian. "Cultural Connections: 'Lagaan' and Its Audience Responses". Third World Quarterly 26.3 (2005): 517-524. Print.
Zapata, Sarah. "Contesting Identities: Representing British South Asians in Damien O'Donnell's East Is East". Journal of English Studies 8 (2010): 175-186. Print.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Also one hour per week for 11 weeks (autonomous learning group at times to be arranged)
KeywordsENLI10361 Contemporary Literature Postcolonialism
Course organiserDr Anouk Lang
Tel: (0131 6) 5 50 8936
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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