This course will explore the relationship between discourses of gender and those of nationalism, and how this shapes both imperial and postcolonial writing. Why are nations routinely imagined as women, and imperial conquest expressed in terms of sexual mastery? Are ‘race’ and ‘gender’ analogous? What are the differences between the way in which women and sexuality are used in the imperial imagination on the one hand, and anti-colonial, nationalist writing on the other? We will address these questions via a range of literary texts ranging from Shakespeare’s The Tempest to recent postcolonial fiction (by Tayib Salih, Ama Ata Aidoo and Arundhati Roy, among others) as well as key theoretical and historical writings in the field.