Course Description

Course Name

Postcolonial Literatures

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Twentieth-century literatures in English from Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, England, New Zealand and the South Pacific, emphasising the forms of cultural encounter and response arising from colonial expansion and from contemporary contexts of travel and writing.
Some of the most innovative and challenging twentieth-century literature in English has been produced in response to the experience and legacy of British colonisation, giving rise to a phenomenon we refer to as postcolonial literature. This course offers a selection of fictional and dramatic works in English by writers from Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, England, New Zealand and the South Pacific. They present narratives of, and responses to, colonial encounters among peoples, traditions and ideas, the complex processes and effects of decolonisation, and the legacies of colonialism in contemporary individual and/or collective cultural experience. With reference to some of the key figures and essays in postcolonial theory, the course focuses readings of these fictional works on the ways that literature can creatively negotiate relations between politics, ethics and poetics across a variety of colonial and postcolonial contexts.

Course Reader: Postcolonial Theory (Available from Print Shop)
Conrad, Joseph. Edited Knowles, O. & Hampson, R. Heart of Darkness & The Congo Diary (Penguin Classics)
Kincaid, Jamaica. Lucy (Farrar Straus and Giroux)
Fugard, Athol. Statements (Theatre Communications)
Hau'ofa, Epeli. Tales of the Tikongs (University of Hawaii Press)
Kureishi, Hanif. Buddha of Suburbia (Faber & Faber)
Atwood, Margaret. Bodily Harm (Vintage)
Frame, Janet. Carpathians (Random House)

*Course content subject to change