M, W: 12:30-1:50

Language 313

My Office: LANG 408D; My Email: mraja@unt.edu

Office Hours: M, W 10:00-12:00 and by Appointment


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 Stork Mountainworks 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: 
Penkov, Miroslav. Stork Mountain: A Novel
Class Reader (To be provided by the Instructor)

Occasional handouts/Course Reserves. [HO/RES]

Video: Chinweizu on Ariel and Caliban

 A Guide on Textbook Rentals

Course Policies and Requirements:

Students are expected to come prepared for class: This involves reading the assigned texts, listening carefully to their peers, and contributing their views in a collegiate and stimulating way. Attendance is mandatory.

Distribution of Points:
Response Journals          100 Points
Mid-Term Exam              200 Points
Group Presentations      300 Points
Participation                    100 Points
Final Exam                      300 Points
Total                                  1000 Points

Response Journals (100 Points): Every week you will turn in a journal responding to the readings assigned for the week. The journal should be minimum two pages, double-spaced, font 12 Times. 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?
  • How does the form compare to the metropolitan techniques of creative production? (For creative writing majors)

Mid-Term Exam (200 Points)
The Mid-term will be given in the eighth week. The exam will include three essay questions. I will give you a comprehensive study guide a week before the exam.

Group Presentations (300 Points)
In the first week, your class will be divided into small groups who will then choose their presentation topics. I will provide detailed instructions later.

Final Exam (300 Points) [Final Exam Questions] A cumulative final exam will be administered in-class on the date mentioned in the UNT exams program.

Class Participation (100 Points)
As this is a discussion format class, 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. I encourage you to speak-up in the class, not just about the texts but also if you have any suggestions about how to improve our learning during the course.

You are expected to attend the class regularly. You will be in the danger of failing the course if you miss more than FOUR class sessions.

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.

Please review UNT Policy on Academic Integrity for details.

If you have a disability, please contact the campus ADA office and bring me the necessary documentation. I will try my best to accommodate you if you need any special instruction or assistance.

SENATE BILL 11 (“CAMPUS CARRY”). Students must read UNT’s policy on concealed handguns on campus, which I’ve posted on Blackboard (or see http://campuscarry.unt.edu/untpolicy.) Here I note that 1) only licensed persons may legally carry handguns on campus, and 2) this right only authorizes the licensed carrying of “handgun[s], the presence of which is not openly noticeable to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person.” Per policy, if a gun is “partially or wholly visible, even if holstered,” it’s not legal on campus, whether or not it’s licensed. I report all illegal activities to the UNT police, regardless of their nature.

“ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATIONS.” All students should be aware of UNT’s guidelines for responding to “active shooter situations” (seehttp://emergency.unt.edu/get-prepared/Active-Shooter).

Grading Scale:

A 900-1000

B 830-899

C 739-829

D 600-738
F Less than 600 Points

Important Note: If at any stage in this course you feel like I could tweak my teaching practices to make it a better learning experience for you, please come and talk to me. If you are not comfortable talking in person, you can leave me a typed anonymous note with your suggestions in my mailbox in the English main office.

Weekly Schedule

Note: This is a tentative schedule. I may change this schedule during the semester. You will be informed of the changes well in advance, but it will be your responsibility to keep any such changes in mind while preparing for the class.

The assigned readings are for the whole week. Generally, we will discuss the assigned readings, spread over the week, in the order in which they are listed below. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO HAVE READ THE ASSIGNED TEXTS OVER THE WEEK-END.

Week One 
Introduction to the course.
In-Class diagnostic Journal
New Terms: Center/periphery, Colonialism, Imperialism, Third World


“Introduction” 1-34

“In the World.” (97-99). Kipling, “The White Man’s Burden.” (100).

Achebe, “An Image of Africa,” (101-107), Frantz Fanon, “ Black Skin White Masks,” (138-140) “From Wretched of the Earth” (107-110).

Week Two 

New Terms: Binarism, Othering, Going native

Class Discussion: “ In the World.” Kipling.


Conrad “Heart of Darkness” (35-96)

Week Three

Class Discussion: Conrad “Heart of Darkness” (35-96)
New Terms: Diaspora, Discourse

Achebe, “An Image of Africa,” (101-107), Frantz Fanon, “ Black Skin White Masks,” (138-140) “From Wretched of the Earth” (107-110).

Week Four
Class Discussion: Achebe, “An Image of Africa,” (101-107), Frantz Fanon, “ Black Skin White Masks,” (138-140) “From Wretched of the Earth” (107-110).
New Terms: Hybridity, Hegemony, Dominance


Aime Cesaire, “A Tempest,” (111), Chinweizu, “Decolonizing the . . .” (114), Ngugi “Creating space . . .” (117-121)

Week Five

Class Discussion:Aime Cesaire, “A Tempest,” (111), Chinweizu, “Decolonizing the . . .” (114), Ngugi “Creating space . . .” (117-121)

New Terms: Native, Nativism

New Terms: Authenticity, Social Darwinism

P’bitek (167), Head, “The Deep River,” (286)

Week Six
Class Discussion: P’bitek, Head.

New Terms: Subaltern, Appropriation, Abrogation

Mahfouz, “Zaabalawi,” (803), Rifaat, “My World of the Unknown,” (247), Darwish, “Identity Card (136)

Week Seven

Class Discussion: Mahfouz, Rifaat, Darwish

New Terms: Agency, Mimicry


Mukherjee, “A Wife’s Story,” (306), Hossain, “Sultana’s Dream,” (122).

Week Eight
Class Discussion: Mukherjee, “A Wife’s Story,” (306), Hossain, “Sultana’s Dream,” (122).

Mid Term


Narayan, “A Horse and Two Goats,” (143), Naipaul, “Our Universal Civilization,” (304).

Week Nine

Class Discussion: Narayan, “A Horse and Two Goats,” (143), Naipaul, “Our Universal Civilization,” (304).

New Term: Magic Realism

Marquez, “ A Very Old Man . . .” (174), Fuentes, “The Prisoner of . . .” (178).

Week Ten

Class Discussion: Marquez, Fuentes.
New Terms: Neoimperialism, Militarization, Corporatization.

Readings: Rushdie “The Courter” (289), Desai “The Farewewll Part” (278), Cisnerros “Never Marry a Mexican” (312)

Weel Eleven
Class discussion: Rushdie “The Courter” (289), Desai “The Farewewll Part” (278), Cisnerros “Never Marry a Mexican” (312)

Readings: Stork Mountain

Week Twelve
Class discussion: Stork Mountain
Stork Mountain

Week Thirteen
Class discussion: Stork Mountain

Reading: Stork Mountain

Week Fourteen-Sixteen

Class Discussion: Stork Mountain