English 138

Studies in World Literature in English: Postcolonial Fiction

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2021 Banerjee, Sukanya
TTh 8-9:30 20 Wheeler

Book List

Coetzee, J.M.: Waiting for the Barbarians; Emecheta, Buchi: The Joys of Motherhood; Ghosh, Amitav: The Hungry Tide; James, C.L.R.: Minty Alley; Roy, Arundhati: The God of Small Things; Sidhwa, Bapsi: Cracking India

Other Readings and Media






Beginning with a preliminary study of the discussion and debates surrounding the usage of the terms “colonial” and “postcolonial,” we will read novels from several postcolonial locations. The course does not take at face value the overt distinctions between “colonial” and “postcolonial”; neither does it seek to arrive at a singular understanding of the “postcolonial.” Rather, by tracing different histories and narratives of colonialism and decolonization, we will discuss how in our novels of study, these two constituencies continually inform each other in ways that also inflect everyday terms like “nationalism” or “globalization.” In so doing, we will examine how ideas of power, language, and resistance are variously formulated or reworked in and through a literary register.  The novels are set or written in and from diverse locations—the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent--and direct our attention to questions of class and race, ecology, history and historiography, gendered nationhood, reproductive and domestic labor, and subalternity, among others. 


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