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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2008

E 314V • Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
34535 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
GAR 0.132
Dhar, N

Course Description

This course will introduce students to the major texts from the "postcolonial" world--the former colonies of the British Empire. We will focus on three important sites of postcolonial literary production after 1945: Anglophone Africa, the Caribbean, and South Asia. We will examine the common experience of a "postcolonial condition" across these regions, in the context of the specific histories, cultures, and literatures grouped under the umbrella term 'postcolonial' in the West. While reading literary and theoretical texts, we will try to answer the following questions: How do these writers depict colonial and post-colonial societies? How do they confront the divisions of gender, class, and ethnicity? Is nationalism a solution to the ravages of colonialism, or part of the problem? What is the significance of the fact that these writers write in English--a language most of their own people cannot read or understand? Finally, we will pay special attention to how "postcolonial" literatures served as alternate modes of history-writing for the writers and societies concerned.

Grading Policy

Three critical papers (6-8 pages each): 45%, Final Oral Presentation: 10%, Book Review: 15%, Participation: 15%, Reading Journal: 15%


Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Laurette Ngcobo, And They Didn't Die
Salmon Rushdie, Midnight's Children
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
Jamaica Kincaid, Annie John
V. S. Naipaul, A House for Mr. Biswas
Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Devil on the Cross

Theoretical texts will include excerpts from Edward Said, Franz Fanon, Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Derek Walcott.

Life and Debt


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