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ML3209/3309 Colonizers, Creoles and Exiles: Comparative Postcolonial Literature


Coursework (80%) one essay of 3,000-3,500 words

Presentation (20%)

For students taking ML3309: 5,000 words dissertation


This course explores the way in which western and non-western cultures and literatures have been shaped by the legacies of colonialism. Topics covered will range from colonial oppression and racism to postcolonial identity and hybridity, as well as dictatorship, slavery, exile and civil war. The course will focus on literary texts different cultural areas, including Central Africa, India, the Carribbean, East Africa and Europe. The course will thus compare, on the one hand, colonial and postcolonial texts and, on the other, different cultural areas. It will bring together and deepen many of the insights that you have gained in previous years, while giving you the opportunity to reflect more rigorously and systematically on issues such as the relationship between literature and politics, or between texts and their contexts.

Set Texts:

Patrick Chamoiseau, School Days, trans. by Linda Coverdale (University of Nebraska Press, 1997)

Claire de Duras, Ourika: An English Translation, trans. by John Fowles (MLA Texts and Translations, 1995).

Frantz Fanon, Chapter 5 'The Lived Experience of the Black Man', in Black Skin, White Masks, Trans. By Charles Lam Markmann (London: Pluto Press, 1986)

Ngugi wa Thiong'o, 'The Language of African Literature', in Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (London: Currey, 1986), pp.4-33.

Rudyard Kipling, Kim (London: Vintage Classics, 2010)

Cristina Ali Farah, Little Mother (Indiana University Press, 2011)

Nuruddin Farah, Maps (London: Penguin, 2000)

Secondary Literature: General, Theoretical, Introductory:

You do not need to read all of these texts, though your lecturers may refer to some of the names here, and dipping into some of them will help you think about some of the questions raised in the course and to research your essay questions. Further, more specialised bibliographies will be made available to you for each work studied.

Patricia Alden, Nuruddin Farah (New York: Twayne, 1999)

Bill Ashcroft et al., The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-colonial Literature (London: Routledge, 1989)

Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London:Routledge, 1994)

F. Abiola Irele, The Cambridge Companion to the African Novel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)

Jean Bernabé, Patrick Chamoiseau, Raphaël Confiant, Eloge de la créolité/In Praise of Creoleness (Paris:Gallimard, 1993)

Jennifer Burns, Migrant Imaginaries: Figures in Italian Migration Literature (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013)

Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (New York: Grove Press, 1967)

Nicholas Harrison, Postcolonial Criticism (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2003)

Anyndio Roy, Civility and Empire: Literature and Culture in British India, 1822-1922 (London: Routledge, 2005)



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