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Topics in Modern British Novel

ENGL 265.401
instructor(s):
MWF 10

In this advanced seminar we will study a series of thematically connected novels by some of the century's most important writers from England and her former colonies in India, the Caribbean, South Africa, and Nigeria. There will be a certain emphasis on novels set or written in Africa, especially South Africa, since that is what I am currently working on. Our class discussions will explore the following issues: "Englishness" and "Otherness"; civilization and barbarism; the intersections of race and gender; writing and orality; violence, torture, and voyeurism; the pastoral; the meaning of such ideas are " history", " empire", and "liberation". Students should expect to read a novel a week, plus a few critical and theoretical essays. The grade will be based on a 5-7 page midterm paper, a 7-10 page final paper, and occasional class presentations. The reading list will include: Conrad, The Heart of Darkness; Forster, A Passage to India; Waugh, Black Mischief; Lessing, The Grass is Singing; Rhys, The Wide Sargasso Sea; Greene, The Quiet American; Achebe, Arrow of God; Lamming, Natives of my Person; Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians; Gordimer, Something Out There; Boehmer, Colonial and Post Colonial Literature; Newman, Ballistic Bards; Rushdie, Shame.