Related Courses: Syllabus for Postcolonial Literature (English 350, Washington and Lee University)

Professors Jane Kane and Suzanne Keen
office: Payne Hall 32A
phone: 463-8759
email: skeen@wlu.edu

Course Description

Texts (in addition to materials on closed reserve)

Films (on reserve; to be watched during term)

Suggested web resources

Assignments

Imperial Fictions

Tu 1/7 What was the British Empire? Intro to Internet resources. Kipling, "White Man's Burden" and "Gunga Din" in class (handouts)

Th 1/9 Imperial Romance: H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines

Tu 1/14 Haggard, King Solomon's Mines

Th 1/16 Images of Africans: John Buchan, Prester John

Tu 1/21 John Buchan, Prester John

Th 1/23 Critique of Empire or Racist text? Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Tu 1/28 Conrad, Heart of Darkness Closed reserve: Achebe, "essay on Heart of Darkness"

Th 1/30 first hourly examination (should have some objective questions involving the extent of the British empire and IDs from readings)

Postcolonial Literature

Tu 2/4 What does postcolonial mean?

Dominions, protectorates, and colonies; dates of independence; Commonwealth of Nations; Suez Crisis (1956) Wole Soyinka, The Lion and the Jewel

Reserve resources to be consulted: Closed reserve: Salman Rushdie, "'Commonwealth Literature' Does Not Exist" and "Imaginary Homelands" ( 9-21, 61-70); in Imaginary Homelands ( 9-21, 61-70); Chinua Achebe,"Colonialist Criticism" and "Chronology of Key Events and Publications" in Elleke Boehmer, Colonial and Postcolonial Literature.

Th 2/6 Migration and Hybridity: postcolonial lives

Jamaica Kincaid, Autobiography of My Mother

Tu 2/11

Jamaica Kincaid, Autobiography of My Mother and Michael Ondaatje, Running in the Family

First 8-10 paper due

Th 2/13 Michael Ondaatje, Running in the Family

Washington Holiday

Tu 2/25 Censorship

Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Reserve resources to be consulted: Closed Reserve: from Ngugi, Detained and interview with Ngugi in Jussawalla and Dasenbrock (22-31); from Appignanesi/Maitland, The Rushdie File and (reference section) Contemporary Literary Criticism on the Satanic Verses affair

Th 2/27 Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Tu 3/4 Second hourly examination

Th 3/6 The language of Empire

Handout: Irish language poets in translation

resources to be consulted: Closed Reserve: Ngugi, from Decolonising the Mind and Said, from Orientalism

Tu 3/11 Seamus Heaney (handout will specify poems to be read)

Th 3/13 Seamus Heaney

Tu 3/18 play: Brian Friel, Translations

evening video event: The Commitments (based on novel by Roddy Doyle)

Th 3/20 Derek Walcott, selected lyrics (handout)

Tu 3/25 Derek Walcott, from Omeros

Th 3/27 Derek Walcott, from Omeros

Tu 4/1 Anita Desai, Baumgartner's Bombay

evening video event: Mississippi Masala

Second 8-10 pp. paper due

Th 4/3 Anita Desai, Baumgartner's Bombay