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Unit information: Postcolonial Literature in 2016/17

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Unit name Postcolonial Literature
Unit code ENGL21012
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Gareth Griffith
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will introduce students to something of the range, depth, and continuing development of postcolonial writing in the past fifty years. There will be opportunities to read fiction, non-fiction prose and poetry, and to consider recent and current postcolonial theory and criticism.


This unit will aim to give students a broad introduction to postcolonial writing drawn from the last fifty years. Students will be asked to read a range of creative, critical, and theoretical works, and to place them in a wider historical context. Through this work, students will also have an opportunity to consider broader developments in contemporary writing.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful students will be able to

1) analyse a wide range of works taken from across the past fifty years, which illustrate various aspects of postcolonial creative and critical writing or thought

2) critically place these works in the context of contemporary writing more widely and in their historical context

3) communicate their ideas about these issues effectively

4) present a persuasive written argument

Teaching Information

1 x 3-hour seminar per week for 10 weeks.

Assessment Information

1 x 4000 word essay (100%) [ILOs 1-4]

Reading and References

  • J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace (Secker and Warburg, 1999)
  • Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place (Virago, 1988)
  • Ngugi wa Thiong'o, A Grain of Wheat (Heinemann, 1968)
  • Salman Rushdie, The Moor's Last Sigh (Cape, 1995)
  • Amos Tutuola, The Palm-Wine Drinkard (Faber & Faber, 1952)
  • Derek Walcott, Collected Poems 1948-1984 (Faber & Faber, 1992)