English 211b
R. Mohan
TTH 2:30 – 4

Introduction to Postcolonial Literature

The term “postcolonial” has become a complex rubric under which has been grouped literatures emerging out of varied traditions from far-flung regions of the world that have in common the history of European colonization. This course will explore the nature and context of Anglophone postcolonial fiction, poetry. and drama. We will pay particular attention to some of their common concerns such as: the representation of first contact, the influence of western education and the English language, the effects of colonial violence, and the ways identity is shaped by displacement, migration, or exile. We will also look at specific aesthetic strategies such as appropriation, distortion, mimicry, and magic realism that have come to be associated with this body of literature.

Texts will be selected from the following list:
J.M. Coetzee, Age of Iron
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions
Jamaica Kincaid, Lucy
David Malouf, Remembering Babylon
Caryl Phillips, Cambridge
Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children
Wole Soyinka, Death and the King’s Horseman
Zadie Smith, White Teeth
Poetry by Derek Walcott, Kamau Brathwaite, Vikram Seth, Nessim Ezekiel, and Kamala Das.
Excerpts from critical essays by Aimee Cesaire, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Spivak, Paul Gilroy, Stiuart Hall, and Simon Gikandi


Course Requirements: Four short papers (2-3 pages long), an essay (5-7 pages long), an oral presentation, a final exam, and active participation in class and Blackboard discussions.

*This course satisfies the English Department’s introductory requirement.