Postcolonial Writing - ENGL5830

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Spring Term 6 30 (15) Maria Ridda checkmark-circle


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.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 30
Private study hours: 270
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

Two essays (3,000 words each) (90%)
Seminar performance (10%)

Reassessment methods
Like for Like.

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Coetzee, J. M (2004). Waiting for the Barbarians. London: Vintage.
Gordimer, Nadine (1974). The Conservationist. Oxford: Cape.
Ondaatje, Michael (1992). The English Patient. London: Bloomsbury.
Rhys, Jean (1968). Wide Sargasso Sea. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Rushdie, Salman (1982). Midnight's Children. London: Picador.
Thiong'o, Ngugi wa (1968). A Grain of Wheat. London: Heinemann

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

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.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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