|English 211b||R. Mohan|
|TTH 11:30 -1||HU III|
Introduction to Postcolonial Literature
The term “postcolonial” is a complex and ambiguous one, but it has proven to be useful as an umbrella under which we can group writings emerging out of varied literary traditions from far-flung regions of the world that have in common the history of having been British colonies. This course will explore the nature and context of these writings, paying special 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, the ways identity is shaped by displacement, migration, or exile, the challenges facing nation building after colonialism, and internal hierarchies and conflicts in postcolonial societies. We will also look at specific aesthetic strategies such as resistance, allegory, mimicry, “writing back”, and magic realism that have come to be associated with this body of literature.
Additional Reading Material:
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
J.M. Coetzee, Age of Iron
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions
Amitav Ghosh, The Hungry Tide
David Malouf, Remembering Babylon
Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children
Zadie Smith, White Teeth
Short stories and poetry from India , Pakistan, South Africa, and the Caribbean; critical essays by Ngugi, Said, Brathwaite, Spivak, and Mohanty.
4 short papers (2-3 pages long) and 2 longer papers (5-8 pages long); a class presentation; and active participation in class discussions.
This course fulfills the English Department’s Introductory Requirement.