The disintegration of the European empires was of crucial political and cultural significance in the twentieth century, and its consequences continue to reverberate in innumerable ways throughout contemporary culture. In this course we will study the work of writers from former British colonies. Their literary innovations tell stories rooted in local experience and history, revise imperial narratives, challenge assumptions about identity and otherness, and scrutinize the politics of language. Authors from southern Africa (J.M. Coetzee, Zekes Mda), South Asia (Salman Rushdie), and the Caribbean (Jean Rhys, Jamaica Kincaid, V.S. Naipaul) will be among those whose work we'll discuss. We will also read some theoretical essays (by, for example, Edward Said, Franz Fanon, and Benedict Anderson), and investigate the lively contemporary debates that animate the diverse and contentious field known as postcolonial studies. Requirements include lively class participation, several short response papers, scheduled quizzes, and two essays (6-8 and 8-10 pp).