ENGL 5540.001

Studies in British Literature, 1914-present:  Postcolonial Literature & Theory

T, TR 9:30-10:50 AM, AUD 301

Office: Lang 408E

Office Hours: T, TR 11:00-12:00, 2:00-3:00 and By Appointment.

Email: raja@postcolonial.net OR use this Contact Form

For questions about assigned reading: Reading Questions
Print syllabus in PDF

This course will introduce you to some of the leading concepts in postcolonial scholarship along with some of the major postcolonial authors. The postcolonial cultural production can be roughly divided into three overlapping phases: the works produced during the contact phase, the native responses to colonialism, and the postcolonial cultural production both from the global periphery and the diasporic authors. Postcolonialism is a dynamic, expansive, and contested field of literary study involving a high degree of multidisciplinarity and theoretical innovation. This course will also introduce you to the early and current debates of the field and possibilities of the field in the future. We will pay special attention to the current state of high capital and neoliberal globalization and the artistic and critical responses being offered in resistance.
Required Texts
Ania Loomba. Colonialism/Postcolonialism. Second Edition. Routledge.
Edward Said. Orientalism.
Flora Nwapa. Efuru. London: Heinemann, 1966.
Daniyal Mueenuddin. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders. (Stories). Norton, 2009.
Musharraf Ali Farooqi. (Tr). The Adventures of Amir Hamza. Modern Library, 2007.
Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Devil on the Cross. Oxford: Heinemann, 1982.
Miriam Cooke. Hayati: My Life. New York: Syracuse UP, 2000.
Zee Edgell. Time and the River. Oxford: Heinemann, 2007
Earl Lovelace. The Dragon Can’t Dance. Harlow: Longman, 1979.
Fawzia Afzal-Khan. Lahore With Love: Growing Up With Girlfriends Pakistani Style. Syracuse UP, 2010. (Available at Amazon.com and Abebooks)
Mahwash Shoaib (Tr). Selections from the Poetry of Kishwar Naheed.
1. Ella Shohat. Notes on the “Post-Colonial“.
2. Anne McClintock. The Angel of Progress. . .
3. Arif Dirlik. The Postcolonial Aura.
4. Stuart Hall. When was the Post-colonial?
5. Gayatri Spivak. Can the Subaltern Speak?
6. Homi Bhabha. Signs Taken For Wonders.
7. David Scott. The Social Construction of Postcolonial Studies.
8. M. A. Farooqi. Simurgh Feather Guide to the Poetics of Dastan-e Amir Hamza.
9. M. A. Farooqi. The Poetics of Amir Hamza’s World.
10. Intellectuals and Power.
Postcolonial Theory: Suggested Website.
Course Policies and Requirements
You are expected to come prepared for class: This involves reading the assigned texts, listening carefully to your peers, and contributing your views in a collegiate and stimulating way. Attendance is mandatory.
Distribution of Points:
  • Presentation 200 Points
  • Mid-Term  200 Points
  • Online Journal responses 200 Points.
  • Participation 100 Points
  • Term Paper 300 Points
  • Total 1000 Points

Response Journals
Every week you will post your response to the readings on the discussion thread provided under
Online Journals on the course website. To be able to do this you must create a user name on the website;  you will share this user name with me for me to be able to keep a record of your postings. Your response must at least be 500 words.
Presentation (Instructions) (Schedule):
During the first week you will choose a particular novel for your presentation. Your presentation will then fall in the week in which your chosen novel is scheduled for class discussion. I expect a 30-40 minutes FORMAL PRESENTATION using the insights provided by the secondary readings. You must also turn in a 3-5 page written brief of your presentation with a detailed list of your scholarly sources.  Following are some, but not all, questions you may consider:
  • What does the text say about gender, race, ethnicity, class, nation, or power and what are your views about it?
  • Did you agree or disagree with the text’s politics? why?
  • What is the text critiquing?
  • How can we relate this text to contemporary realities?
  • Does this text raise the question of justice? If so, how and for whom?
  • Does the text provide a politics for a better future?

Mid-Term Exam/Assignment (Questions)
The Mid-term will be an in-class essay exam administered in the eighth week. You may also choose to write a Book Review instead of the exam. If you choose this option, your grade will depend on the successful SUBMISSION of a review, of one of the assigned books, to an academic journal.

Class Participation 
As this is a seminar based on a discussion format, your thoughtful participation is essential to the success of the class. I encourage collegiate, open, and thought-provoking class discussions. Remember, we are all here to learn, so let us share our ideas and knowledge to make this class into a dynamic learning experience.
Term Paper 
The final term paper will be due on the last day of class. The paper
(15-20 pages for MA students and 20-25 pages for Doctoral students) should have a clearly defined thesis and a coherent argument. I would encourage you to choose your topic early and do extensive research. I will be available to assist during all stages of your research and composition process.     
You are expected to attend the class regularly. You will be in the danger of failing the course if you exceed the allowed number of absences: FOUR class sessions for a T, TR class and SIX for a M, W, F class.
Cheating and Plagiarism 
Plagiarism is against the law, and will result in automatic failure in the course. Simply stated, plagiarism is when you try to pass anyone else’s work as your own or if you turn in your own work written for another class. View UNT Policy on Academic Integrity.
The American Disabilities Act
Essential competencies for this course include the abilities to read written texts and write about them. If you have a documented disability and require accommodations, please contact the instructor at the beginning of the semester to make arrangements for necessary classroom adjustments
Grading Scale 
A 920-1000
A- 900-919
B+ 860-899
B 830-859
B- 800-829
C+ 760-799
C 739-759
C- 700-729
D+ 660-699
D 630-659
D- 600-629
F Less than 600 Points

Weekly Schedule
Week 1
Introduction to the Course
Presentation Topics
Handouts 1 & 2 
Week 2
Edward Said
Handouts 3 & 4 

Week 3 
Handouts 5, 6, & 7
Week 4 & 5
Handout 8 & 9

Handout: ‘Ngugi–Standing our Ground.
Handout: Chinweizu–African Novel and its Critics.

Week 8
 Handout: Fanon–On National Culture.
Video–The Gaza Ghetto

Week 10
Week 11
Kishwar Naheed, Tr. Mahwash Shoaib
A reading By Kishwar Naheed: Video
Pakistaniaat Interview of Kishwer Naheed
Week 12, 
Fawzia Afzal-Khan. Lahore With Love
Week 13 & 14
Concluding discussions and Final Paper workshops.