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Autumn 2015: Introduction to Postcolonial Literature

Postcolonial literature

May 13, 2015

Introduction to Postcolonial Literature, focus on Pakistan and South Asia
Autumn Quarter
T, TH 8:30am-10:20am
SMI 407

Once part of the global British Empire and now officially independent, countries like Kenya, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Jamaica, India and Barbados have performed and negotiated their break from colonialism in sometimes different, sometimes similar ways. Our investigation of postcolonial literatures and theory will help us better understand:

  • historical colonial power and anticolonial conflict
  • present day cultural legacies of imperialism in the recently independent postcolony
  • who has power and privilege over others and why
  • the role of travel, diaspora and globalization

We will read literature from Pakistan to glean insight on that country’s cultural and literary scene, and to discuss how emblematic Pakistani and South Asian literature more generally might be to larger postcolonial concerns. Additionally, we will screen films, dabble in theory, and try to piece together how our world works now and how that came to be. This class will engage with issues of gender, sexuality, race, feminism, patriarchy, globalization, religious nationalism, westernization, class, privilege, power and representation.

Interested in learning about and discussing these issues? Come join us. This is an introductory class, with no prerequisites or expectations of prior familiarity with the issues. Our one requirement: an openness and willingness to engage in productive and collegial conversations.

Instructor: Dr. Anu Taranath (