Twentieth-century literatures in English from Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, the South Pacific and India, emphasising the forms of cultural encounter and response arising from colonial expansion and from contemporary contexts of travel and writing.
Some of the most innovative and challenging contemporary literature in English has been produced in response to the experience and legacies of British colonisation. This paper offers a selection of fictional and dramatic works in English by modern and contemporary writers from Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, and South Asia. They present narrative responses to colonial encounters among peoples, traditions and ideas; the complex processes and effects of decolonisation; and the legacies of colonialism in contemporary individual and/or collective cultural experience. With reference to some of the key figures and essays in postcolonial theory, we focus readings of these fictional works on the ways that literature can creatively negotiate relations between politics, ethics and poetics across a variety of colonial and postcolonial contexts.
|Paper title||Postcolonial Literatures|
|Teaching period||First Semester|
|Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD)||$886.35|
|International Tuition Fees (NZD)||$3,766.35|
- 18 200-level ENGL points
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music
- Students who have not passed the normal prerequisite may be admitted with approval from the Head of Department.
- More information link
- View more information on the Department of English and Linguistics website
- Teaching staff
Convenor and Lecturer: Associate Professor Chris Prentice
- Paper Structure
- There are generally three or four 1-hour lectures per text (the two plays have two
lectures each) and a 1-hour tutorial for each text. Although tutorials are specifically
designed to focus on your participation, there is also some opportunity in lectures
for you to engage actively in discussion.
Assessment consists of:
- one 20% essay proposal and
- one 30% essay of 2,500 words.
- there is a 50% exam during the examination period.
- Teaching Arrangements
- Two 1-hour lectures per week and a 1-hour tutorial on each text in the paper
Tutorials start in the second week of the semester.
- Selected critical essays (available on eReserve)
- Conrad, Joseph. Edited Knowles, O. & Hampson, R. Heart of Darkness & The Congo Diary (Penguin Classics)
- Fugard, Athol. Statements (Theatre Communications)
- Dangarembga, Tsitsi. Nervous Conditions (The Women's Press)
- Kincaid, Jamaica. Lucy (Farrar Straus and Giroux)
- Hamid, Mohsin. The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Penguin)
- Thiong'o, Ngugi wa. Devil on the Cross (Penguin Classics)
- Sinha, Indra. Animal's People (Simon & Schuster)
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking,
Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Learning Outcomes
By the end of the paper, you should be able to:
- Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of themes and modes of expression in a selection of postcolonial literary works from a range of continents and countries
- Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of some of the key theoretical concepts in analysis of colonial and postcolonial texts
- Reflect on relationships between theme and literary/performative modes of expression in postcolonial fiction and drama
- Critically evaluate how literary or performance texts intervene in wider cultural, social or political concerns
- Discuss your views, based on your reading and research findings, with others
- Independently research a topic in postcolonial literary study and present your work in a coherently formulated and clearly expressed argument of your own