How does literature contend with the legacies of empire, specifically, modern European colonial rule in the 20th century? How have authors interpreted and responded to decolonisation and to emergent forms of neo-colonialism? How have these processes shaped contestations around issues of gender, race, class, caste and nation? This course will think through these concerns that continue to shape art, culture and society in the Global South today, long after the end of formal empire. We will analyze contemporary novels, short stories and essays addressing regions and contexts ranging from South Asia and West Africa to the Caribbean and post-war Britain. Texts will serve to introduce students to key authors and theoretical debates within the field of postcolonial literatures, and may include Chinua Achebe’s Thing Fall Apart, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth. The course will also engage with critical perspectives on ‘post’-colonialism, and explore what postcolonial literatures can teach us about ongoing moves to ‘decolonise’ universities in the Global North and beyond.
Assignments will include class participation, presentation, weekly posts and a final paper. All texts will be in English, no prerequisite knowledge or expertise needed.