ENG-30056 - Postcolonial and World Literature in English
Coordinator: Mariangela Palladino Tel: +44 1782 7 33397
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

This module aims to introduce students to the diversity of literature produced in postcolonial contexts since the end of World War II. We will compare material from a number of formerly colonised regions - including Africa, the Middle East, America, and the Caribbean - and explore how postcolonial texts relate to local cultural and historical experiences. The module is structured around some of the most highly charged issues tackled by postcolonial artists: cultural identity and nationhood; race, gender, and the body; slavery; globalisation; migration; diaspora; and war. As we address these, we will look at ways of applying the exciting and challenging ideas raised by postcolonial theory, and consider how world literature is consumed in a global marketplace. The module covers a wide range of texts including poetry, fiction, critical essays, drama, and film, and will examine postcolonial writers' innovative reconfigurations of form and genre.
Primary Reading includes 8 or 9 texts; a selection of these might be:
Gillo Pontecorvo (dir.) The Battle of Algiers (1966) [film]
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) [novel]
Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987) [novel]
Brian Friel, Translations (1980) [play]
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (1958) [short novel]
Zoe Wicomb, Playing in the Light (2006) [novel]
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (1988) [novel]

& To introduce students to critical issues in postcolonial literary and cultural production, post-World War II.
& To relate postcolonial texts both to their cultural and historical contexts and to global markets in which they circulate.
& To enable students to apply postcolonial theory to global literary and cultural texts.

Intended Learning Outcomes

appraise and critique postcolonial and world literary texts in light of their cultural and historical contexts: 1,2
carry out independent research, synthesize research findings, and present this in extended written form: 1,2
engage in close critical analysis of literary texts: 1,2
devise, develop, construct, and sustain an argument in written work: 1,2
utilise and analyse postcolonial theory in relation to postcolonial literary and cultural studies: 1,2

Study hours

36: Tutorials, lectures and live study sessions
73: Reading and tutorial preparation
15: Essay 1 research and writing
25: Essay 2 research and writing
1: Personal contact and feedback

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 70%
2,500 word essay
Students will write a critical essay in response to a list of 8-10 questions. The essay will require students to reflect on aspects of postcolonial theory and apply them to a selected text. They must not repeat material from the short paper.

2: Essay weighted 30%
1,500 word assessment
Students will analyse one postcolonial fictional extract from a choice of 2-3 in light of postcolonial theory.