ENGL 3913.002

Topics in World Literature:  Postcolonial Literature

T, TR 12:30-1:50 PM, LANG 212

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

(Useful links to purchase your books: Amazon.com, Abebooks, Alibris, A1 Books, Booksamillion, Borders, Campus Book Rentals, English4Today, Sell Back Books, Textbooks.com)


This course introduces you to some of the major world/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. 

We will read these texts of the global periphery not simply as crystallized versions of the cultures that they attempt to represent, but also use them as points of departure into a study of the larger power structures within which these texts are produced. In doing so we will also question our own place and privileged location within the academy and imagine the possibilities of making our work commensurate with the acts of semiotic and material resistance being offered to the reigning power structures by the cultures of the global south in the spirit of what Gramsci describes as the organic intellectuals.

Using printed texts and film, this course will introduce you to the current global negotiation of power, the articulation of native resistance to the imperatives of globalization, and the native attempts at achieving social justice. In doing so we will also touch upon the role of the nation-state within the current climate of neoliberal globalization and the global war on terror, the politics of the diasporic cultural production, and the possibilities of rhizomatic global popular alliances.

Required Texts
Ania Loomba. Colonialism/Postcolonialism. Second Edition. Routledge.
Edward Said. Orientalism.
Qurratulain Hyder.
River of Fire.
Ngugi wa Thiong’o.
Devil on the Cross.
Naguib Mahfouz.
Children of the Alley.
George Lamming.
In the Castle of My Skin.
Fawzia Afzal-Khan. Lahore With Love: Growing Up With Girlfriends Pakistani Style. Syracuse UP, 2010. (Available at Amazon.com and Abebooks)
  1. Ngugi–From the Garden of Languages, the Nectar of Art: An Interview with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o.
  2. Ngugi–Standing our Ground.
  3. Qurratulain Hyder’s River of Fire: The Novel and the Politics of Writing Beyond the Nation-State.”
  4. Mahfouz–Time and Memory.
  5. Lamming–Minting the Face of Empire: Coinage and the Shadow King in George Lamming’s In The Castle of My Skin.

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
  • Mid-Term                           300 Points
  • Online Journal Responses  200 Points
  • Participation                      100 Points
  • Final Exam                         400 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 course 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 text for a group presentation. Your presentation will then fall in the week in which your chosen text 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 (Study Guide)
 The Mid-term will be an in-class essay exam administered in the eighth week.
General rules about essay exams–Courtesy, Jenny Caneen-Raja
Class Participation
As this course is 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.
Final exam (Questions)
The final exam will be a two part essay exam. Part 1 will comprise a take home exam while Part 2 will be in-class. A detailed study guide will be provided a week prior to the exam.
Term Paper (Writing Strategies)
The final term paper will be due on the last day of class. The paper (10-12 pages) 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
HO 1 & 2
Loomba–Chapter One

Week 2

Select Presentation Topics.

Discussion: HO 1&2 and Loomba.


Loomba–Rest of the Book

Week 3 

Discussion: Loomba



Week 4 & 5

Discussion: Said

Video: On Orientalism.



HO 3

Week 6

Discussion: Hyder and HO 1



Week 7

Discussion: Hyder



HO 4 & 5

Week 8

Mid Term

Discussion: Ngugi and HO 4&5.



HO 6

Week 9 & 10

Discussion: Mahfouz


Lamming, HO 7

Week 11
Discussion: Lamming and HO 7

Week 12

Discussion: marquez 

Week 13

Fawzia Afzal-Khan. Lahore With Love

Week 14

 Concluding discussions and Final Paper workshops.