358:460 Seminar: Colonial and Postcolonial Literature

01  TTH6  LIV  17378   IBIRONKE   TIL-224

What is the relevance of postcolonial theory?

Topics in Colonial and Postcolonial Lit explores the ways in which postcolonial theory and literature have responded to the changing realities of the world order. While significant transformations have occurred from the age of Empire in the 20th century to the era of Globalization in the 21st: for example, India has emerged as a major player in the neoliberal world order; yet, as we see in Adiga’s novel, these transformations are marked by limitations and consequences that often negate their liberatory potentials. The washing ashore a Turkish beach, this summer, ofAylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler who drowned in an effort to escape from war, highlights one of the most spectacular events of the world's migration crisis. Yet, Aylan Kurdi is only one of the migration horror stories that have proliferated since the period of colonial displacements. Two of the novels we will study: Tayib Salih’s Season of Migration to the North (Salih, 1969), and Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying (Danticat, 2007) capture earlier moments of migration in Africa and the Caribbean. Overall, we will read texts from a wide range of writers from Africa, the Caribbean, India, and Turkey to appreciate how (and in what contexts) the three major strands of postcolonial theory -- Decolonial, Marxist, and Poststructuralist --  have tackled the question of the practice and relevance of postcolonialism.

Tentative Primary Texts:

Adiga, A. (2008). The white tiger : a novel (1st Free Press hardcover ed.). New York: Free Press.

Cole, T. (2011). Open city : a novel (1st ed.). New York: Random House.

Danticat, E. (2007). Brother, I'm dying (1st ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Salih, T. (1969). Season of migration to the North. London, Ibadan etc.: Heinemann Educational.

Selvon, Sam. The Lonely Londoners.

Tanpinar, A. H., & Gèurol, E. (2001). The Time Regulation Institute : a novel. Madison, Wis.: Turko-Tatar Press.

List of possible Films:

Life and Debt, Narration written by Jamaica Kincaid; Stephanie Black (Director).

The Kite Runner, novel by Khaled Hosseini, Marc Forster (Director)

Midnight's Children, written and directed by Salman Rushdie

The Namesake, novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, Mira Nair (Director)


Essays, Chapters and Selections from Theory and Crititcism:

Dirlik, A. (1997). The postcolonial aura Third World criticism in the age of global capitalism. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press.

Ferguson, J. (2006). Global shadows Africa in the neoliberal world order. Durham N.C.: Duke University Press.

Spivak, G. C. (1999). A critique of postcolonial reason : toward a history of the vanishing present. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Spivak, G. C., & Morris, R. C. (2010). Can the subaltern speak? : reflections on the history of an idea. New York: Columbia University Press.

Young, R. (2003). Postcolonialism. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.


Two essays: Essaytopicswillbedistributedwellinadvanceofthedateapaperisdue. Onepresentation.

Weekly reading reports/Mini-drafts.

Class participation.