This course approaches contemporary English literature in a global context, studying texts (mostly written in English) from across the globe since 1950. Drawing on postcolonial literary theory, the course encourages the development of critical perspectives on English as a world-literary language. Through close readings of authors from diverse ‘postcolonial’ situations – from Ireland to Nigeria, from the Indian subcontinent to the Caribbean and Hong Kong – the course will explore themes including globalization, linguistic nationalism, translation and code switching, cultural and linguistic hybridity, postcoloniality, and feminism. Texts will cover a diverse range of genres, and will include poems, plays, short stories, novels, and non-fiction and mixed-genre writings. There may also be scope for consideration of postcolonial adaptations or re-readings of ‘canonical’ works studied on earlier modules.
By the end of this module students will have :
A. the ability to read and to work critically with literary texts in English and in translation, reflecting the diversity of ‘postcolonial’ literature since 1950
B. the ability to relate the effects of the texts on the reader to the techniques used by the author, and in reference to the context of postcolonial and other ‘globalized’ cultural conditions;
C. an informed awareness of the various ways in which one might make critical appraisals of texts, using appropriate methodologies, vocabulary, and secondary sources, particularly with respect to postcolonial and feminist theory;
D. the capacity to structure a coherent, critically informed, and theoretically reflective analysis of selected texts and specific passages;
E. awareness of issue of genre and of how these may reflect issues of contemporary interest in trans- and multi-cultural contexts
The teaching sessions divide into Lectures and Seminars. Lectures offer content on texts and contexts, and provide examples of how texts can be read and understood in globalized and postcolonial contexts. Seminars require students to present and interrogate ideas, to develop critical positions in detail, and to explore literary, contextual, and secondary/critical reading materials in depth.