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Post-colonialism: Desire and the Other

Code: 42295 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
4313157 Advanced English Studies OT 0 2
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Felicity Hand Cranham

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)


There are no prior course requirements but it is advisable for students who wish to take this course to have some basic knowledge of postcolonial theory.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The aims of the course are to provide students with the necessary skills 

  • to understand and analyze postcolonial literatures in English
  • to debate the main theories in the field
  • to relate postcolonial studies with other disciplines in English studies
  • to produce critical papers on postcolonial texts


  • Analyse and synthesise information at an advanced level.
  • Analyse the relationship between factors, processes or phenomena in the acquisition of English as a second language, its learning and teaching methods, and its literature, history and culture.
  • Apply methodological knowledge of statistical analysis and data generation, treatment and codification of multilingual databases, analysis of literary texts, etc. to research.
  • Communicate the knowledge acquired and the contributions of one’s research correctly, accurately and clearly both orally and in writing.
  • Critically argue, issue judgements and present ideas on the basis of the analysis of information originating from scientific production in these areas.
  • Develop autonomous learning skills applicable to the research process.
  • Distinguish and contrast between the different methodological and theoretical models applied to the academic study of the acquisition, teaching and use of English as a second language in multilingual and multicultural contexts, literary studies and cultural studies.
  • Show respect towards the opinions, values, behaviours and/or practices of others.
  • Use the English language for academic and professional purposes related to research into the acquisition, teaching and use of English as a second language in multilingual and multicultural contexts, literary studies and cultural studies.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse and interpret at an advanced level literary texts on Post-Colonial Literature in English, learning to distinguish its specificities.
  2. Analyse and interpret at an advanced level scientifically produced texts on Post-Colonial Literature in English, extracting relevant citations and making content summaries.
  3. Analyse and synthesise information at an advanced level.
  4. Communicate the knowledge acquired and the contributions of one’s research correctly, accurately and clearly both orally and in writing.
  5. Develop autonomous learning skills applicable to the research process.
  6. Distinguish and contrast the different theoretical and methodological models applied to the academic study of Post-Colonial Literature in English.
  7. Make oral presentations in English about subjects and texts related to advanced research into Post-Colonial Literature in English.
  8. Read and analyse post-colonial texts in the English language.
  9. Show respect towards the opinions, values, behaviours and/or practices of others.
  10. Write texts defending an idea in relation to a literary text from Post-colonial literature in English, applying secondary sources to the critical argumentation.


The following texts  will be discussed in detail from various perspectives including gender, ethnicity, class and the environment. Other disciplines such as history, politics, anthropology and diaspora studies will also be drawn on.


Shailja PatelMigritude, New York: Kaya Press, 2010 - Kenya, India  

Ashwin SinghInto the Grey, in Durban Dialogues, Then and Now, London: Aurora Metro Books, 2017  - South Africa

Mike van Graan, Green Man Flashing, Junkets Publisher, [2006]  2010  - Sudáfrica

Amitav Ghosh, Gun Island, John Murray, 2020 – India

Shani Mootoo, Cereus Blooms at Night,  New York: Avon Books, 1996 - Trinidad


The plays  Into the Grey and Green Man Flashing and the poem Migritude will be available on moodle.


Close readings of the novels, plays and poem and class discussions centred on particular theoretical issues or cultural aspects. 


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Theory classes 50 2 2, 1, 9, 6, 8, 7
Type: Supervised      
Papers 15 0.6 3, 4, 5, 7
Type: Autonomous      
Private study 40 1.6 1, 8


Students are required to participate in class discussions on a regular basis. 

Students will be asked to keep a "Reflective Journal" throughout the course which will have to be submitted to the teacher halfway through the semester (17th March) and at the end alongside the Final Paper (deadline 17th May). The "Reflective Journal" grants students a space whereby they can reflect upon issues raised by the texts under discussion in a subjective manner. 

The final paper consists of a 2,500 word paper (approximately 10 pages) with at least 5 valid, academic secondary sources. Students are required to submit a proposal first. This proposal must include the following: provisional title, 150-word abstract, bibliography with five items). The proposal should be submitted by 26th March.  Students are encouraged to write their final paper on their class presentation.

In order to pass the subject, students must hand in all the written exercises (including the Reflective Journal), do the classroom presentation and participate in class discussions.

The assessment is based on the following:

  • Short essay 20% 
  • Class discussions and presentation 20%
  • Reflective journal 20%
  • Final paper 40%


On carrying out each assessment activity, lecturers will inform students (on Moodle) of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.

Students will obtain a Not assessed/Not submitted course grade unless they have submitted more than 25% of the assessment items.

Re-assessmentfor this subject will be undertaken on an item-by-item basis, for which the following conditions are applicable:

  • The student must previously have submitted a minimum of two-thirds ofthe course-assessment items, i.e. the essay and the final paper.
  • The short esssay and the final paper may be re-assessed provided that 70% of the assessment items have been successfully completed.
  • The class discussions, the presentation and the reflective journal are not eligible for re-assessment.
  • The maximum grade for re-assessed items is 5.
  • The definitive grade awarded for a re-assessed item will be that obtained at re-assessment, even if this is lower than the original grade obtained.
  • If the student fails the re-assessed item or items in question, the subject may still be passed provided that their average overall grade is equal to or higher than 5.


In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.



In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.


Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Class Discussions and Presentation of a Topic 20% 20 0.8 1, 4, 9, 6, 8, 7
Essay 20% 5 0.2 2, 1, 4, 8
Final Paper 40% 15 0.6 2, 3, 5, 6, 10
Reflective Journal 20% 5 0.2 2, 1, 8, 10


The following is a list of basic postcolonial texts.  More specific bibliography, especially journal articles, will be provided with all the readings

Printed Sources

Ahmad, Aijaz. In Theory.  Classes, Nations, Literatures. London: Verso, 1992.

Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin. Key Concepts in Post-Colonial Studies. London and New York: Routledge, 1998.

Bhabha, Homi K.. The Location of Culture. London and New York: Routledge, 1994.

Bharucha, Nilufer E. & Sarang, Vilas (eds). Indian-English Fiction. 1980-90: An Assessment. Delhi: B.R. Publishing Corporation, 1994.

Boehmer, Elleke. Colonial & Postcolonial Literature. Oxford University Press, 1995.

Boehmer, Elleke. Stories of Women. Gender and Narrative in the Postcolonial Nation. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005.

Chapman, Michael & Margaret Lenta (eds). SA Lit. Beyond 2000. Durban: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2011.

DeLoughrey, Elizabeth & George B. Handley. Postcolonial Ecologies.Literatures of the Environment. Oxford University Press, 2011,

Donaldson, Laura E. Decolonizing Fictions: Race, Gender and Empire-building. London and New York: Routledge, 1992.

Dyer, Richard, White. London and New York: Routledge, 1997.

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skins, White Masks. 1952. Trans. Contance Farrington. New York: Grove Press 1998.

Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. 1961. Trans. Charles Larn Markmann. London: Penguin Books, 1990.

Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic. Modernity and Double Consciousness. London: Verso, 1993.

hooks, bell. Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination. New York: Routledge, 1970.

Huggan, Graham & Helen Tiffin, Postcolonial Ecocriticism. Literature, Animals, Environment, London: Routledge, 2010.

JanMohamed, Abdul. Manichean Aesthetics. Amherst, MA: University of Massachussets Press, 1983.

Malak, Amin. Muslim Narratives and the Discourse of English. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005.

Mbembe, Achille. On the Postcolony. Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 2001.

Mehrotra, Arvind Krishna (ed). An Illustrated History of Indian Literature in English.  Delhi: Permanent Black – Ravi Dayal Publishers, 2003.

Mishra, Vijay, The Literature of the Indian Diaspora. Theorizing the Diasporic Imaginary, Routledge, 2007.

Mohanty, Chandra Talpade, Ann Russo and Lourdes Torres, eds. Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism. Bloomington: Indiana UniversityPress, 1991.

Moore-Gilbert, Bart (ed). Writing India 1757-1990. The Literature of British India. Manchester U.P., 1996.

Morrison, Toni. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. New York: Vintage Books, 1992.

Naik, M.K. & Shyamala A. Narayan. Indian English Literature 1980-2000. A Critical Survey. Delhi: Pencraft Interantional, 2001.

Nash, Geoffrey. Writing Muslim Identity. London: Continuum, 2012.

Ngugi wa’ Thiongo, Decolonizing the Mind. The Politics of Language in African Literature. London: Heinemann, 1986.

Nixon, Rob, Slow Violence.  The Environmentalism of the Poor, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013.

Ramsey-Kurz, Helga & Geeta Ganapathy-Doré (eds). Projections of Paradise. Ideal Elsewheres in Postcolonial Migrant Literature. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011.

Rushdie, Salman. Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991. Granta, 1991.

Said, Edward. Orientalism. 1978. Western Conceptions of the Orient. London: Penguin Books, 1998. 

___________. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.

___________. Reflections on Exile and Other Literary and Culturals Essays. New Dehli: Penguin Books, 2001.

Schwarz, Bill. The White Man's World, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011.

Spivak, Gayatri. The Post-Colonial Critic, ed. Sarah Harasym. London: Routledge, 1990.

Williams, Patrick & Laura Chrisman (eds). Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory,  Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993.

Young, Robert. Colonial Desire. Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race, Routledge, 1995.