Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Postcolonial Novel
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 10 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assignment 1  1 x 2500 word essay  60%
Semester Exam 6 Hours   Oral Examination  1 x 30 minute group oral presentation  40%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit Assignment 1  Resubmit failed or missed essay (2500 words)  60%
Supplementary Assessment Resit Oral Examination  Submit the Oral presentation on powerpoint slides along with a written commentary  40%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of postcolonial literature from Africa and India

2. Demonstrate a knowledge of the historical and cultural contexts in which postcolonial texts are created

3. Demonstrate an understanding of critical debates pertinent to the study of postcolonial texts

4. Apply a nuanced understanding of postcolonial texts in completing module assignments


The module will provide students with the opportunity to engage with four leading works of Anglophone world literature and to analyse these txts through the lens of an appropriate range of postcolonial literary criticism. It build on the skills learned in Part One and Part Two literary modules by requiring students to take a theoretical approach to the study of African and Indian literature.

Brief description

This module will allow students to enhance their knowledge and understanding of literature by studying some of the most vibrant examples of international Anglophone writing in the twentieth century. The first half of the module focuses on two novels that dramatise the rising momentum of Indian independence (Raja Rao’s Kanthapura (1938). The second half of the module moves critical attention to novels set in post-independence Zimbabwe (Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions) and India (Arundati Roy’s The God of Small Things). Students will examine the ways in which these novels engage the legacies of empire and colonialism; represent challenges to colonial authority and movements towards independence; and explore complex issues of power and identity in the postcolonial period. The authors’ use of English – historically the language of cultural imperialism – will also be assessed. In tandem with their reading of the primary texts, students are required to engage with a range of postcolonial literary criticism.


1. Week 1: Introducing Postcolonial literary studies. Using extracts from Bill Ashcroft et al, The Empire Writes Back, Stuart Hall, ‘When Was the Post-
Colonial?’, and Gayatri Spivak, ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’.
2 Week 2 & 3 Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
3 Week 4 & 5 Raja Rao, Kanthapura
4 Week 6: Critical debates in Postcolonial literary studies. Using critical essays drawn from: Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture; Franz Fanon, Black
Skin, White Masks; Vijay Mishra and Bob Hodge, “What is Post(-) Colonialism?”; Chandra Talpade Mohanty, ‘Under Western Eyes’; and Edward Said,
5 Weeks 7 & 8: Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions
6 Weeks 9 & 10: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written assignments and oral in seminar discussion and group presentations.
Improving own Learning and Performance Through independent reading and research; developing and refining new writing techniques.
Information Technology Preparation of written work and via e-resources such as LION and JSTOR.
Personal Development and Career planning Through critical self-reflection; transferable communication and research skills.
Problem solving By producing theoretically aware analysis of postcolonial texts and by formulating a detailed critical argument.
Research skills By identifying and exploring appropriate secondary materials in the preparation of written work and by synthesizing information in an evaluative argument
Subject Specific Skills Analysis and exploration of literary texts and key literary and theoretical concepts.
Team work Collaboration in seminars and oral presentations.


This module is at CQFW Level 6