English 138

Studies in World Literature in English: Postcolonial Classics

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2011 Premnath, Gautam
Premnath, Gautam
MW 4-5:30 30 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Achebe, C.: Things Fall Apart; Naipaul, V.S.: A House for Mr. Biswas; Salih, T.: Season of Migration to the North; Ba, M.: So Long a Letter; Rushdie, S.: Midnight's Children; Desani, G.V.: All About H. Hatterr; Tutuola, A.: The Palm-Wine Drinkard and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts; Roy, A.: The God of Small Things; Coetzee, J. M.: Disgrace


What is a classic? A perennial preoccupation for critics and lay readers, this question takes on a specific urgency in the context of postcolonial literature. This course will consider a series of postcolonial literary works now viewed as classic, while inquiring into the processes by which they have been assigned that status. We'll address questions of aesthetic and political value, trace the formation of a postcolonial canon, and consider the relationship of these works to both European and "native" classical traditions. Note: The final booklist may diverge somewhat from the one currently listed, but is sure to include Naipaul's A House for Mr. Biswas and Achebe's Things Fall Apart (the latter should be read in the Norton Critical Edition).

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