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Colonial and Postcolonial Fiction

ENGL 065.401
instructor(s):
TR 9-10:30

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 its former colonies (including India, Pakistan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, and the Carribean). We will also read one excellent novel from the former French colonies of Mali and Senegal. Class discussions will explore, among other things, the following oppositions: “Englishness” (or Fenchness”) and otherness, civilization and barbarism, power and knowledge, the metropolis and the periphery, and writing and orality. The course will appeal to students with an interest in questions of race and gender and the relationship between literature and politics, but also to students who simply want to read interesting books and expand their literary horizons. The course will concentrate to some extent on Africa (since that is my area of specialization), but not at all exclusively. Students on a mid-term and final paper (around 8-10 pp. in length). Books are likely to include: Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Forster, Passage to India, Waugh, Black Mischief, Lessing, The Grass is Singing, Rhys, The Wide Sargasso Sea, Greene, The Quiet American, Ousmane, God’s Bits of Wood, Ishiguru, The Remains of the Day, Coetzee “Narrative of Jacobus Coetzee” and Waiting for the Barbarians, Malouf, An Imaginary Life, Rushdie, Shame and East/West. Films may include: Aquirre, the Wrath of God, The Battle of Algiers, Molaade.