Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Postcolonial Politics
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 3 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000 word essay  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment Seminar Presentation  10%

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

- discuss the notion of the postcolonial or postcoloniality
- analyse in detail power relations and discursive practices in particular postcolonial contexts
- discuss critically and in depth questions of power, colonialism and resistance in a postcolonial setting

Brief description

This module provides an advanced introduction to the fascinating and intriguing study of postcolonial politics .


Introduced as an area of study in Aberystwyth over ten years ago now - when postcolonialism was generally only studied in relation to comparative literature - ostcolonial politics has become a wide-ranging and much debated field. It embraces critical development, explorations of continuing and often invisible neocolonial attitudes and practices, and possibilities for resistance, and it explores these topics through literature, film, art and music as well as the written word.

Postcolonial politics was seen initially as a move beyond both `international relations', which tends to discuss relations between states or great powers, and `third world studies', which isolates certain parts of the world and discusses them separately. The old labels suggest a view of the world as split into the industrialised, developed west and the underdeveloped or developing south. Postcolonial politics, in contrast, sees these two areas as mutually constitutive. It examines how they come to be produced as distinct in so many ways, how these differences are perpetuated, and how they may be contested.

Originally meant as a break away from traditional approaches, scholarship in postcolonialism and critical development has had a huge impact on the study of international politics, challenging the discipline to halt its disavowal of the historical experiences of colonialism, racism and conquest by which current international politics is framed, formulating critiques of its analyses and pointing out its blind spots. Postcolonialism in international politics is now a burgeoning field with its own large and ever-expanding community of scholars and a rapidly growing literature


1. Anticolonialism and Nationalist Struggles

2. Colony Meets Metropole: Madness and Civilisation

3. Anticolonisalism: Situated Knowledges

4. Orientalism and Hybridity

5. Subaltern Studies and Provincialising Europe

6. Identity, Race and Diaspora

7. Sex, Gender and Queering Postcolonialism

8. Governmentality, Discipline and Development

9. Metropole meets colony: Politics, Inequality, Ethics

10. Postcolonialism without Guarantees

Transferable skills

The module will require and develop transferable skills such as teamwork (through the use of student-led seminars), individual writing and analytic skills and time management (thorough the preparation of essays); critical reading and analysis (through the preparation for weekly seminars); debating and facilitating skills and the ability to express themselves on complex topics in an understandable way (through the seminar discussions).

15 ECTS credits


This module is at CQFW Level 7