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

Professors Jane Kane and Suzanne Keen
office: Payne Hall 32A
phone: 463-8759

Course syllabus

Course Description: Prof. Jean Kane will teach the first six weeks of this course; Prof. Keen will teach the second six weeks, returning after the Washington Holiday. Final grades will be assigned by Prof. Keen.

A study of postcolonial poetry, drama, autobiography, and fiction in English. The course examines postcolonial themes and techniques in an historical context, asking what "postcolonial" means to writers of countries formerly colonized by the British. We begin with a study of late nineteenth-century imperial fictions in verse and prose by Conrad, Haggard, Buchan, and Kipling and turn to recent literature by Soyinka, Achebe, Desai, Ondaatje, Ngugi, Kincaid, Heaney, Irish language poets, and Rushdie. Topics include colonization and decolonization; writing in the colonizer's language; influences of English and vernacular literatures; the relationship of the postcolonial to the postmodern; Orientalism; censorship; and the role of post-imperial Britain in the publication, distribution, and consumption of postcolonial literature.

Course requirements: two 8-10 page papers (maximum 2500 words; 20% each); two hourly examinations (10% each); final examination (20%); study questions including Internet assignments; in-class writing; participation in discussion; and faithful attendance (these last accumulate to 20%). Always bring the assigned text to class.

Paper specifications: All assignments must be completed and turned in on time. If I agree to accept a late paper, it will be penalized at the rate of a notch a day: an A paper turned in two days late would receive a grade of B+. No exceptions without an infirmary excuse or a letter from the Dean.