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

Postgraduate Course: Postcolonial Writing (ENLI11007)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will introduce students to some of the key texts and critical debates within postcolonial studies, ranging from the colonial fiction of E.M. Forster and Rudyard Kipling to contemporary novels (from Africa, South Asia, and the U.S.); the dub poetry of Linton Kwesi Johnson; and the British-Asian television comedy series Goodness Gracious Me. Primary texts will be explored with reference to a range of key terms and topics including (inter alia) orientalism, counter-discourse, mimicry, nationalism, ethnicity and subjectivity, diaspora, language, the body. We will also interrogate the significance of the term 'postcolonial' itself. What are the differences between imperialism and colonialism, or postcolonialism and post-colonialism, for instance? Or what are the limitations of the 'postcolonial' label? In debating the latter we will investigate points of intersection between postcolonial theory and other critical and political traditions such as feminism, Marxism and postmodernism. We will also explore the ways in which contemporary racial conflict (as evident, for example, in Islamophobia and the global 'war on terror') has its roots in stereotypes attached to the racial 'other' in colonial discourse (and here we will draw on the work of key postcolonial thinkers such as Edward Said, Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak).
Course description Seminars
Please come to the first class having read the Forster, Kipling, Slemon and Said material.

Week 1: Colonial and Postcolonial Discourse
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India;
Rudyard Kipling, 'White Man's Burden' (on LEARN);

extracts from Edward Said's Orientalism and Stephen Slemon's 'The Scramble for Post-Colonialism' (in The Postcolonial Studies Reader).
Week 2: Hybridity and Mimicry
V.S. Naipaul, 'Man-Man' (on LEARN);
Rudyard Kipling, 'Bubbling Well Road' (on Project Gutenberg website)

Week 3: Spivak and the subaltern
Arundhathi Roy; The God of Small Things;
Lakshmi Kannan, 'Muniyakka' (on LEARN)

Week 4: Nationalism and Culture
Ngugi, A Grain of Wheat

Week 5: Postcolonialism and Feminism/Gender
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions


Week 7: The Body and Ethnicity
Toni Morrison, Beloved

Week 8: Diaspora, migrancy and exile
Hanif Kureishi, My Beautiful Laundrette (screenplay and film)


Week 10: Language
Amos Tutuola, The Palm-Wine Drinkard
Linton Kwesi Johnson, selected dub poetry

Week 11: Settler subjectivities
Katherine Mansfield, 'The Garden Party';
Henry Lawson, 'The Drover's Wife';
Nadine Gordimer, 'Six Feet of the Country';
Margaret Atwood, 'Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer'
(details to be posted on LEARN).

Week 12: Counter discourse: humour, satire, postmodern play
Selected prose by Epeli Hau'ofa and Albert Wendt (on LEARN);
discussion of 'ethnic' television comedy series Goodness Gracious Me and Bro' Town
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Purchase of essential texts as required.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  6
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay of 4,000 words.
Feedback Postgraduate students submit a 1,000-word essay outline in the second half of the course (usually Week 10 or 11), and receive formative written feedback within 10 working days. Written feedback and provisional marks (double-marked in the Department, subject to external moderation) are returned within 15 working days.

Students are also welcome to visit the tutor in office hours or by appointment to discuss their work and receive oral feedback on the outline and/or assessment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse selected texts within both 'global' and 'local' cultural and theoretical frameworks.
  2. Investigating ways in which colonial writing and criticism intersect with international postcolonial writing and theory.
Reading List
Course Texts

Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin, eds. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader, 2nd edn. (London: Routledge, 2005, ISBN 0415345650)
Dangarembga, Tsitsi. Nervous Conditions (Ayebia Clarke, 2004, ISBN 0954702336)
Forster, E.M. A Passage to India (Penguin, 1998, 0140274235)
Kureishi, Hanif. My Beautiful Laundrette (Faber and Faber, 2000, 0571202543)
Morrison, Toni. Beloved (Vintage, 1997, 0099760118)
Ngugi. A Grain of Wheat (Penguin, 2002, 0141186993)
Roy, Arundhati. The God of Small Things (Flamingo, 1998, 0066550681)
Tutuola, Amos, The Palm-Wine Drinkard (Faber and Faber, 1977, 0571049966)
Strongly recommended for purchase:
Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman, eds. Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader. London: Longman, 1994. ISBN 0745014917.
Selected Secondary Reading
A: Material on/by specific authors
Tsitsi Dangarembga
Aegerter, Lindsay, 'A Dialectic of Autonomy and Community: Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions', Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 15.2 (1996): 231-40.
E.M. Forster
Rapport, Nigel. The prose and the passion: anthropology, literature and the writing of E.M. Forster. Manchester University Press, 1994.
Routledge Literary Sourcebook on E.M. Forster's A Passage to India. London: Routledge, 2002.
Hanif Kureishi
Kaleta, Kenneth C. Hanif Kureishi: postcolonial storyteller. Austin, Tex.: University of Texas Press, 1998.
Moore-Gilbert, Bart. Hanif Kureishi. Manchester University Press, 2001.
Toni Morrison
Duvall, John N. The Identifying Fictions of Toni Morrison: modernist authenticity and postmodern blackness. New York/Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000.
Eckard, Paula Gallant. Maternal body and voice in Toni Morrison, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Lee Smith. Columbia, University of Missouri Press, 2002.
McKay, Nellie Y. Critical Essays on Toni Morrison. Boston, Mass.: Hall, 1988.
Morrison, Toni. Conversations with Toni Morrison. Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi, 1994.
V.S. Naipaul
King, Bruce Alvin. V.S. Naipaul. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1993.
Nixon, Rob. London Calling: V.S. Naipaul, Postcolonial Mandarin. Oxford University Press, 1992.
Ngugi wa Thiong'o
Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Decolonizing the mind: the politics of language in African literature. London: James Currey, 1986.
Ogude, James. Ngugi's novels and African history. London: Pluto, 1999.
Parker, Michael and Starkey, Roger (eds). Postcolonial literatures : Achebe, Ngugi, Desai, Walcott. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1995.
Sicherman, Carol. Ngugi wa Thiong'o: the making of a rebel; a source book in Kenyan literature and resistance. London: Zed, 1990.
Arundhati Roy
Dodiya, Jaydipsinh and Joya Chakravarty (eds). The Critical Studies of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 2001.
Sharma, R.S. Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things: critique and commentary. New Delhi: Creative Books, 1998.
Amos Tutuola
Lindfors, Bernth (ed.). Critical Perspectives on Amos Tutuola. London: Heinemann, 1980.
Wangman, Pauline Turner. Telling Tales: Literary Perspectives of West Africa. Edinburgh: Centre of African Studies, 1986.
B: Postcolonial Theory/Criticism
Bill Ashcroft et al. (eds), The Empire Writes Back, Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures (1989)
Homi Bhabha (ed), Nation and Narration (1990)
Elleke Boehmer, Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures (1995)
L. Chrisman and B. Parry (eds), Postcolonial Theory and Criticism (2000)
Terry Eagleton, Frederic Jameson and Edward Said, Nationalism, Colonialism and Literature (1990)
Leela Gandhi, Postcolonial Theory (1998)
Kadiatu Kanneh, African identities: race, nation and culture in ethnography, Pan-Africanism and Black literatures (1998)
Paul Gilroy, There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack (1987)
Neil Lazarus, Resistance in postcolonial African fiction (1990)
Neil Lazarus, Nationalism and Cultural Practice in the Postcolonial World (1999)
Ania Loomba, Colonialism-Postcolonialism (1998)
John McLeod, Beginning Postcolonialism (2000)
Trinh Minh-ha, Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism (1989)
Susheila Nasta (ed), Motherlands (1991)
A. Parker et al. (eds), Nationalisms and Sexualities (1992)
Ato Quayson, Postcolonialism (2000)
Parama Roy, Indian Traffic: identities in question in colonial and postcolonial India (1998)
Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (1993)
Sara Suleri, The Rhetoric of English India (1992)
I. Talit, The Language of Postcolonial Literatures (2002)
P. Williams, P. and L. Chrisman (eds), Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory: a Reader (Pearson/Longman, 2003, 0745014917)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Jointly taught with UG ENLI10217
Course organiserDr Anouk Lang
Tel: (0131 6) 5 50 8936
Course secretaryMr Callum Lennie
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