In this lecture-discussion class we will study a series of thematically connected novels by some of the century's most important writers from England and her former colonies (including India, South Africa, Kenya, Jamaica, and Australia). There will be some emphasis on fiction from Africa or set in Africa (since this is my particular area of specialization). Class discussions will explore, among other things, the following oppositions: "Englishness" and otherness; civilization and barbarism; power and knowledge; the metropolis and the periphery; writing and orality. The course will be of interest to students with an interest in questions of race and gender, and also to persons who simply want to expand their literary horizons. Students should expect to read a novel per week. The grade will be based on a mid-term and final paper (around 6-10 pp. in length).
Readings are likely to include: Conrad, The Heart of Darkness; Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians; Forster A Passage to India; Waugh, Black Mischief; Lessing The Grass Is Singing; Rhys, The Wide Sargasso Sea; Greene, The Quiet American; Ngugi, A Grain of Wheat; Gordimer, July's People and selected stories; Echewa, I Saw the Sky Catch Fire; Cliff, No Telephone to Heaven; Malouf, Harland's Half-Acre; Ishiguru, The Remains of the Day; Rushdie, East-West.