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COURSE TITLE: The Sun Never Sets: Introduction to Postcolonial Literature
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Although the field of postcolonial studies is relatively new, it has already produced an impressive body of literature and criticism for examining how British colonialism and imperialism have shaped the modern world. This course is intended to introduce the student to the key English literary texts and theoretical concerns in this ongoing discourse, including questions about race, nation, gender, and cultural identity. We will also address the historical role Christian theology played in colonialism, as well as its place in recuperative strategies of nationhood and equality. We will study novels, films, and other media, from sources as varied as Canada, India, the Caribbean, Africa, and Great Britain.

Prerequisites: ENGL 215
  • Achebe, Chinua.  Things Fall Apart  (Anchor-Random House)
  • Ashcroft, et al.  Postcolonial Studies: The Key Concepts (Routledge)
  • Conrad, Joseph.  Heart of Darkness ( Broadview, 2nd ed)
  • Griffiths, Gareth and Helen Tiffin.  The Empire Writes Back (Taylor and Francis)
  • Kincaid, Jamaica.  A Small Place ( Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Levy, Andrea.  The Long Song (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Narayan, RK.  The Man-eater of Malgudi (Penguin)
  • King, Thomas. The Back of the Turtle (HarperCollins0
Essay One 15%
Essay Two (Research) 35%
Library Assignment 10%
Participation 10%
Final Exam 30%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: The classes will incorporate both lecture and discussion formats. I will introduce each text and its critical background, and then as a class we will examine the text in detail, as well as any supplementary texts. This means that you must attend class, keep up with the readings, and be prepared to contribute to class discussions. It would be useful for you to note what you believe are significant sections from the texts, and how they may contribute to our understanding of the course as a whole.
  • Introduction/Syllabus
  • Introduction to Postcolonialism
    • What is Postcolonial?
  • The Canon and Its Legacy
    • Conrad, Heart of Darkness
    • The Empire Writes Back (Chapt 1)
    • Key Concepts:
      • cannibal, centre/margin, colonial discourse, commonwealth literature, imperialism, Other, postcolonial
    • Heart of Darkness
    • Achebe's "An Image of Africa"
    • Said on Conrad (see Other Resources)
  • Colonial Responses to Christianity
    • Achebe, Things Fall Apart
    • Virtual Visit to Umuofia
  • The Caribbean Experience
    • Levy, The Long Song
    • Kincaid, A Small Place
    • Key Concepts:
      • mimicry, caribbean, creole, creolization
    • Braithwaite, Lamming, Walcott (handouts)
    • Walcott, The Caribbean; Culture or Mimicry?
    • Dub Poetry
    • Caribbean Poetry
    • Smith, "Mi Cyaan Believe It" (translated version)
  • Jewel in the Crown
    • Said, Orientalism
    • Key Concepts: Orientalism, subaltern
    • Ashcroft, Edward Said (chapt 4)
    • Narayan, The Man-eater of Malgudi
  • Tradition and Gender
    • Key Concepts: gender, tradition
    • Whale Rider (film): viewing TBA
  • Commonwealth, Postcolonial, or Transnational/Transcultural
    • Key Concepts: agency, nation, transcultural, transnationalism
    • Topics: 
    • First nation issues
    • King, The Back of the Turtle
    • What is a Nation?
  • Media and Multiculturalism
    • Key Concepts: hybridity
    • Bend it Like Beckham (film)
  • Review

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