English and drama

Reading Post-Colonial Texts

Module code: Q3072
Level 5
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module will introduce you to postcolonial studies and, in particular, to some of the ways in which the legacy of colonialism has affected writing and other forms of culture.

By the end of the module, you'll be familiar with most of the key theoretical, methodological, historical and ideological issues raised in postcolonial discourse. You'll be able to summarise some of the key critical concepts involved in the field, from ‘hybridity’ to ‘liminality’ and ‘spectrality.’ You also gain an understanding of the significance of postcolonial discourse as a way of thinking about cultural production, circulation and reception, and be able to apply this understanding to the interpretation of the texts discussed on the module.

Some of the topics and issues raised by the module include travel, difference, language, diaspora, violence, resistance, gender, sexuality, memory, haunting, intertextuality, canonicity, orality, nationalism, belonging, indigeneity, ‘race’, ecocriticism, the touristic, ‘native’, globality, and solidarity.

Writers may include Jean Rhys, Shani Mootoo, Abdulrazak Gurnah, J.M. Coetzee, Assia Djebar, Mourid Barghouti and NoViolet Bulawayo.

Module learning outcomes

  • A heightened sensitivity to different kinds of literary writing and to details of language.
  • A familiarity with a range of established and emergent critical positions in the field of postcolonial literature and theory.
  • A larger critical vocabulary for thinking, talking and writing about postcolonial literatures.
  • An enhanced capacity to compose ideas and arguments in clear and accurately presented critical prose.