Postcolonial Writing - EN583

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 30 (15) DR MJ Whittle




Not available as wild



The module raises students' awareness of contemporary issues in postcolonial writing, and the debates around them. This includes a selection of important postcolonial texts (which often happen to be major contemporary writing in English) and studies their narrative practice and their reading of contemporary culture. It focuses on issues such as the construction of historical narratives of nation, on identity and gender in the aftermath of globalisation and 'diaspora’, and on the problems associated with creating a discourse about these texts.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

10 x 3-hour seminars

Method of assessment

100% Coursework: two 3000 word essays 45% each, 10% seminar performance

Indicative reading

Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)
Ngugi wa Thiong'o, A Grain of Wheat (1967)
Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children (1981)
Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah (1987)
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (1988)
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (1997)
J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace (1999)
Achmat Dangor, Bitter Fruit (2001)
Abdulrazak Gurnah, By the Sea (2001)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (2013)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. identify the major concerns of contemporary postcolonial writing
2. understand their historical and cultural contexts
3. understand the significance of how these issues are narrated and resolved

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate:

1. an ability to apply close reading techniques to a range of literary texts and to make complex comparisons between them.
2. development of the skills necessary for participating in group discussions and giving oral presentations.
3. an increased capacity for self-directed research and the ability to discuss, evaluate and creatively deploy secondary critical and theoretical perspectives.
4. an ability to construct original, articulate and well-substantiated arguments.

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