Syllabus for English 573: "Postcolonial" Literature

(Literature of Africa, India, and the Caribbean)

Spring 1999

Professor: Paul Brians

Office: 339 Avery Hall (check door for notes stating where I am currently)
Phone: 332-4645 (leave voice mail message)
Office hours: 9:45-10:45 MWF and most afternoons.
E-mail address:
Speakeasy Studio & Café log-in page:
World Wide Web home page:
Web page for this course:
I am also in most afternoons. Feel welcome to drop by.


Patrick Williams & Laura Chisman, eds.: Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader
Dennis Walder: Post-Colonial Literatures in English: History, Language, Theory
Chinua Achebe: Things Fall Apart
Buchi Emecheta The Joys of Motherhood
Wole Soyinka: Collected Plays 2
Bessie Head: Maru
Nadine Gordimer: Selected Stories
Derek Walcott: Collected Poems 1948-1984
Jamaica Kincaid: A Small Place
R. K. Narayan: The Painter of Signs
Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses


12 Course introduction. Before coming to class, read on-line: "Postcolonial Literature": Problems with the Term," at

African Literature

14 Négritude & Modern African Literature: Williams & Chrisman 1-52 (Introduction, Senghor: "Negritude: A Humanism of the Twentieth Century," Frantz Fanon: "On National Culture)

19 Chinua Achebe: Things Fall Apart, Walder: 1-19 ("Introducing the Post-Colonial"); Williams & Chrisman, 428-434 (Achebe: "The African Writer and the English Language")

21 Buchi Emecheta: The Joys of Motherhood, Chapters 1-11

26 Buchi Emecheta: The Joys of Motherhood, Chapters 12-18; Williams & Chrisman: 244-256 (Suleri: "Woman Skin Deep: Feminism and the Postcolonial Condition")

28 Film: Have You Seen Drum Recently?


2 Film: Have You Seen Drum Recently?, Walder: 42-83 ("Language" & "Theory")
Research paper proposals and annotated bibliography due.

4 *Williams & Chrisman, 66-111: Spivak: "Can the Subaltern Speak?"

9 Wole Soyinka: Wole Soyinka: The Lion and the Jewel and Madmen and Specialists

11 *Bessie Head: Maru

16 Videotape: Fugard: Master Harold and "The Boys"

18 Videotape: Fugard: Master Harold and "The Boys"; Walder: 152-186 ("South African Literature in the Interregnum")

23 Nadine Gordimer: *"The Bridegroom," "The Gentle Art," "Six Feet of the Country"

25 Nadine Gordimer: *"Which New Era Would That Be?" Is There Nowhere Else Where We Can Meet?" "The Train from Rhodesia."



Caribbean Literature

2 Mid-term examination

4 Walder: 116-151 ("Caribbean and Black British Poetry"); *Derek Walcott: "Origins," "The Gulf," "Negatives"

9 Derek Walcott: *"The Schooner Flight," *"Hurucan"

11 *Jamaica Kincaid: A Small Place

Indian Literature

23 *Williams & Chrisman: 132-171 (Said: "From Orientalism," Porter: "Orientalism and Its Problems, Ahmad: "Orientalism and After")

25 *Rushdie: The Satanic Verses: I-II

30 *Rushdie: The Satanic Verses: III-VI


1 *Rushdie: The Satanic Verses: VII-IX

6 *R. K. Narayan: The Painter of Signs; Walder: 87-115 ("Indo-Anglian Fiction, Narayan and Sahgal")

8 *Walder: 189-209 ("After Post-Colonialism"), Williams & Chrisman: 305-323 (Loomba: "Overworlding the "Third World")

13 Film: Bhaji on the Beach

16 Film: Bhaji on the Beach.

All research papers due. No extensions!

20 Discussion of research papers

22 Discussion of research papers

27 Discussion of research papers

29 Discussion of research papers


7 Final examination


Mid-term exam: 20%
Final exam: 20%
Research paper: 20%
Class presentation: 20%
Discussion: 20%

Books on reserve (3-day checkout):

Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart PR9387.9.A3 T5 1996
Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, & Helen Tiffin, eds.: The Post-Colonial Studies Reader PR9080 .P57 1995
Ashcroft, Bill: The Empire Writes Back PR9080 .A93x 1989
Bahri, Deepika & Mary Vasudeva: Between the Lines: South Asians and Postcoloniality E184.S69 B48 1996
Barker, Francis, Peter Hulme & Margaret Iversen: Colonial Discourse, Postcolonial Theory PN56.C63 C65 1994
Boehmer, Elleke: Colonial and Postcolonial Literature: Migrant Metaphors PR9080 .B64 1995
Childs, Peter & R. J. Patrick Williams: An Introduction to Post-Colonial Theory JV51 .C48 1997
Emecheta, Buchi: The Joys of Motherhood PR9387.9.E36 J6x 1979b
Gandhi, Leela: Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction JV51 .G36 1998
Gordimer, Nadine: Selected Stories PR6057.O63 S4 1975
Kincaid, Jamaica: A Small Place PR9275.A583 K5637 1988
Mohanram, Radhika & Gita Rajan: English Postcoloniality: Literatures from Around the World PR9080 .E55 1996
Mongia, Padmini: Contemporary Postcolonial Theory: A Reader PN771 .C595 1996
Moore-Gilbert, Bart, Gareth Stanton, et al.: Postcolonial Criticism PN94 .P65 1997
Moore-Gilbert, Bart: Postcolonial Theory: Contexts, Practices, Politics JV51 .M65 1997
Narayan, R. K.: The Painter of Signs PR9499.3.N3 P35
Rajan, Gita and Radhika Mohanram, eds.: Postcolonial Discourse and Changing Cultural Contexts: Theory and Criticism PN56.C63 P67 1995
Soyinka, Wole Collected Plays 2 PR9387.9 .S6 1973 v. 2
Walcott, Derek: Collected Poems 1948-1984 PR9272.9.W3 A17 1986
Walder, Dennis: Post-Colonial Literatures in English: History, Language, Theory PR9080 .W25 1998
Williams, Patrick & Laura Chisman, eds.: Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader JV51 .C73 1993

World Literature index

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