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Colonial and Postcolonial Fiction

ENGL 065.401
instructor(s):
fulfills requirements:
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

In this lecture-discussion class we will study a series of thematically connected novels by some of the twentieth-century’s most important writers from Britain and its former colonies. We will also read one excellent novel from the former French colonies of Mali and Senegal. Class discussions will critically examine the following oppositions: “Englishness” (or Frenchness”) 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, as well as 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 exclusively. Writing requirements: a mid-term and final paper of around 8-10 pp. in length). Books are likely to include: Conrad, Heart of Darkness or Coetzee, “The Narrative of Jacobus Coetzee,” Forster, Passage to India, Waugh, Black Mischief, Lessing, The Grass is Singing, Rhys, The Wide Sargasso Sea, Greene, The Quiet American, Achebe, Things Fall Apart, Ousmane, God’s Bits of Wood, Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians, Ishiguru, The Remains of the Day, and Rushdie, Shame or East/West. Films may include: Aguirre, the Wrath of God, The Battle of Algiers, and Black and White in Color.