Postcolonial Writing and the Environment - ENGL9160

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


'Postcolonial Writing and the Environment' will introduce students to prose, poetry and film that engages with environmental concerns, including globalisation and indigeneity, climate change, food and water security, species endangerment/extinction, tourism, pollution and migration. Students will interrogate how these concerns are underpinned by human interaction with the environment, and will examine how cultural texts not only facilitate affective engagement with these issues, but allow us to envision solutions and work towards preferred futures. The module will emphasise the political implications of postcolonial ecocriticism by addressing questions of social and environmental justice, animal and human rights, colonialism and postcoloniality, and culture and the individual (amongst other concerns) as a way of showing that analysis of postcolonial writing and the environment always requires attentive and critical engagement with shifting geopolitical world orders. Students will read the core texts in relation to the emerging fields of ‘global’ and ‘world-literature’, and will be introduced to critical and conceptual debates around issues such as ‘slow violence’, the Anthropocene, and writer-activism.


Contact hours

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

Method of assessment

Assignment (5,000 words) – 100%

Indicative reading

Indicative reading list:

Any edition of the following texts:

Ghosh, Amitav. The Great Derangement
Gordimer, Nadine. The Ultimate Safari
Guerra, Ciro. Embrace of the Serpent
Kincaid, Jamaica. A Small Place
King, Thomas. Back of the Turtle
Rose-Innes, Henrietta. Green Lion
Sinha, Indra. Animal's People
Walcott, Derek. Omeros

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 Comprehensively identify the major concerns of contemporary postcolonial ecocriticism, including issues of globalisation and indigeneity; migration and climate change; food and water scarcity; resource extraction; and species endangerment
2 Evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the field of postcolonial ecocriticism as a global concern that pertains to specific post-colonial localities
3 Interpret a range of formal and aesthetic features relating to the study of prose, poetry and film, showing originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline
4 Evaluate methodologies (such as postcolonialism, ecocriticism, Marxism, feminism), develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses

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

1 Demonstrate an ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
2 Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level
3 Continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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