Colonial and Postcolonial Discourses - ENGL8520

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 30 (15) Rachel Gregory Fox checkmark-circle


This module introduces you to a wide range of colonial and postcolonial theoretical discourses. It focuses on the construction of the historical narrative of imperialism, psychology and culture of colonialism, nationalism and liberation struggles, and postcolonial theories of complicity and resistance. The module explores the benefits and problems derived from reading literature and culture by means of a postcolonial and postimperial lens. Through the study of crucial texts and events, both historical and current, the module analyses the birth of imperialist narratives and their complex consequences for the world today.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 280
Total Study Hours: 300


Autumn term in 2019/20

Method of assessment

Assignment (5,000 words) – 100%

Indicative reading

Indicative reading list:

Any edition of the following:
Bhabha, Homi K. – The Location of Culture
Fanon, Franz – The Wretched of the Earth and Black Skin, White Masks
Hall, Stuart – Cultural Identity and Diaspora
Said, Edward – Orientalism and The Question of Palestine
Spivak, Gayatri Charavorty – The Spivak Reader and Other Asias
Williams, Patrick, and Laura Chrisman, eds. – Colonial Discourse and Postcolonial Theory: A Reader

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 main concerns of colonial and postcolonial discourse analysis, including critiques of imperialism and colonialism and the theorisation of liberation and decolonisation struggles.
2 Understand the role of culture in the expression of liberation struggles and in the articulation of identities.
3 Demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the works of key intellectuals in the field.
4 Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the historical contexts of colonial and postcolonial discourses.

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

1 Demonstrate an ability to apply close reading techniques to a diverse range of material.
2 Conduct self-directed research and demonstrate an ability to discuss, evaluate and creatively deploy critical and theoretical sources of relevance.
3 Construct original, articulate and well-substantiated arguments.
4 Identify and evaluate advanced research questions.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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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