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

Undergraduate Course: Neo-imperialisms (ENLI10331)

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 will look at various ways in which life is made fragile and precarious by what might be called the 'neo-imperialisms' of what Derek Gregory calls the 'colonial present'. From the Second Gulf War to climate breakdown, the structures that maintained European colonialism (military, economic, and cultural) have mutated into new but still potent forms. This course will explore the new formations imperialism has adopted in an ostensibly postcolonial world. Our reading will emphasise creative responses to oppression and marginalisation, particularly through experimentation with literary form and genre. The course will also survey recent developments in postcolonial theory, from the emergence of 'World-Literature' to the influence of the environmental humanities.
Course description According to Michel Agier, 'the world today is confronted with the sustained evidence of precarious lives'. This course will look at various ways in which life is made fragile and precarious by what might be called the 'neo-imperialisms' of the contemporary globalized world, and will include writing (novels, short stories, and poetry) and film from South Africa, Nigeria, India, Britain, the United States, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. The emphasis will be on creative responses to oppression and marginalisation, the role of the imagination (such as constructing fantasies of 'the other') in propagating forms of violence, and also in marking out 'other passages' (in Judith Butler's words) out of cycles of oppression and injury. In particular, the course will ask students to consider the extent to which the various positions and theories offered by postcolonial studies can provide a viable frame for thinking about representations of current or recent geopolitical situations, such as environmental stress, increased people movement, the 'war on terror', the power of international corporations, and the politics of development.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Literary Studies 1A (ENLI08020) AND Literary Studies 1B (ENLI08021) OR English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) AND Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( Literary Studies 2A: English Literature in the World, 1380-1788 (ENLI08024) OR Literary Studies 2B: English Literature in the World, post-1789 (ENLI08025) OR Scottish Literature 2A (ENLI08022) AND Scottish Literature 2B (ENLI08023) OR English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) AND Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Essential course texts
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
In addition to the skills training common to all English Literature Honours courses (essay writing, independent reading, group discussion, oral presentation, small-group autonomous learning) this course will aim to develop in students the ability to:
a) articulate (in written and oral forms) a considered, informed sense of the breadth and range of postcolonial writing, theory and contexts;
b) evaluate a range of key concepts in postcolonial studies, particularly in terms of their relevance to current neo-imperial contexts and their application to the primary texts;
c) deploy an appropriate critical vocabulary for the discussion of film;
d) demonstrate the ability to work with interdisciplinary material in addition to literature and film, such as theoretical, historical and sociological sources;
e) articulate how their own thinking and research agenda has developed;
f) reflect constructively on good learning practice.
Reading List
Mahasweta Devi, 'Pterodactyl, Puran Sahay, and Pirtha'
Mohsin Hamid, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric
Ivan Vladislavic, Portrait with Keys: The City of Johannesburg Unlocked
Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information two hour(s) per week for 10 weeks: attendance at Autonomous Learning Group at times to be arranged.
KeywordsENLI1033 Neo-imperialism,literature,film,Postcolonial,global
Course organiserDr David Farrier
Tel: (0131 6)50 3607
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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