ENGL 3355: Postcolonìal Literature in English
Instructor: Dr. Penny Ingram Semester: Fall 2009
Office 410 Carlisle Class Time: T/R 1 1:00-12:20
Office Hours: T: 1-3; R: 9:30-10:45 Classroom: PH 210
and by appointment
Office Phone: 2-7259
Email: pingram @ uta.edu
This course will introduce students to a burgeoning field in literary studies: postcolonial
literature and theory. We will begin with a study of the centrai tenets of postcolonial
theory and then proceed to a sampling of literary texts that foreground a number of these
issues. Postcolonial literature is literature produced by formerly colonized nations,
including India, Pakistan, the West Indies, various countries in Africa, Australia, New
Zealand, Canada, and others. Such literature is concerned with the way colonial subjects
are produced in and by Empire. Postcolonial literature can be a tool by which the
colonized subject "writes back" to Empire, engaging with themes like identity, belonging,
exile, place, language, sovereignty, and hybridity. The course will explore the pervasive
artistic, psychological, and politicai impact of colonization through a reading of both
literary texts and criticai essays.
By the end of the course you will have:
• become an acute reader of literary and cultural texts with an understanding of the
social, politicai, and cultural implications at work in the production of texts.
• developed a capacity for criticai thinking. You will be equipped with the tools to
perform criticai analysis of literature, culture, and history.
• understood the role that literature plays in the construction of cultural norms, the
maintenance of cultural hegemony, and the production and contestation of ideologies
of the center.
ENGL 3355 is a discussion course. Your attendance and participation are essential to
your success in it.
Papers are due at the beginning of class. Paper assignments (not reader response papers)
should be typed, doublé spaced, stapled, and have your name and the course number in
the top left hand corner of the first page. Late papers will be penalized by 3 points each
day they are late. A doctor's note will not excuse a late paper. I expect you to have
done the reading/writing assignment on the day scheduled on the syllabus.
I will take roU every day. During the semester you are permitted FOUR absences. I do
not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences, so use your time wisely.
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Doctor's visits, surgeries, meetings with advisors, sports trips, etc ali will be taken from
your absence total. You do not need to provide me with documentation for your absence.
Each absence after the fourth one will result in a 2 point penalty off your final
grade. Only in exceptional cases will I accept documentation excusing you after the
fourth absence. If you are absent from class you are responsible for getting notes from a
classmate, completing the work you have missed, and for being on schedule when you
return. If you are sick for the day of your group presentation you MUST CONTACT
YOUR GROUP MEMBERS AND ME BEFORE THE CLASS BEGINS. Failure to
do so will result in a zero for that assignment.
You must arrive to class on time. Tardiness to class may result in your being counted as
I expect each member of the class to behave respectfuUy towards each other and towards
me. Some of you may find the material we will discuss in class to be controversial, but
not everyone will share your opinion. Please be mindful of this fact during discussions
and in email correspondence.
Plagiarism is the unacknowledged borrowing of another person's work and passing it off
as your own. It includes direct lifting of another' s words or ideas as well as
PARAPHRASING another' s words or ideas. Please complete the online tutorial offered
by the library: «library.uta.edu/tutorials/Plagiarism.» This tutorial will teach you
when you need to cite a source and how to do it correctly. Plagiarism is a serious offense
and carries serious consequences, including failure and/or expulsion from the University.
Faculty members are required to report incidences of plagiarism and cheating to Student
Judicial Affair s.
Accommodations for Students with Disabili ties:
Students who need accommodations are asked to arrange a meeting during office hours
the first week of classes, or earlier if accommodations are needed immediately. Please
bring a copy of ali relevant paperwork to the meeting. If you do not have a notification
for accommodations but need accommodations, make an appointment with the Office of
Students with Disabilities, 102 University Hall, 2-3364.
Student Support Services Available: The University of Texas at Arlington has
established a variety of programs to help students meet the challenges of college life.
Support to students includes advising, counseling, mentoring, tutoring, supplemental
instruction, and writing assistance. For a complete list of academic support services, visit
the Academic Assistance resource page of the Office of Student Success Programs,
www.uta.edu/uac/studentsuccess/academic-assistance . To help students address personal,
academic and career concerns, individuai counseling is also available. For more
Information, students are encouraged to contact Counseling Services
www.counseling.uta.edu at (817) 272-3671 or visit a counselor in 216 Davis Hall.
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Electronic Communication Policy: The University of Texas at Arlington has adopted
the University "MavMail" address as the sole officiai means of communication with
students. MavMail is used to remind students of important deadlines, advertise events and
activities, and permit the University to conduct officiai transactions exclusively by
electronic means. For example, important Information concerning registration, financial
aid, payment of bills, and graduation are now sent to students through the MavMail
system. AH students are assigned a MavMail account. Students are responsible for
checking their MavMail regularly. Information about activating and using MavMail is
available at http://www.uta.edu/oit/email/ . There is no additional charge to students for
using this account, and it remains active even after they graduate from UT Arlington.
REQUIRED TEXTS (in order they are to be read):
These are available at the bookstore. I expect you to bring the appropriate text to each
class. If you cannot find the text at one of the locai bookstores you should buy it from an
online vendor, such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Everybody MUST bave tbeir
books by week 2 of class. Failure to bring the appropriate text to class may result in
Dangarembga, Nervous Condìtìons
Fanon, Wretched ofthe Earth
Kureishi, The Buddha ofSuburbìa
Grenville, The Secret River
Duff, Once Were Warriors
Leela Gandhi, "Postcolonialism and the new humanities"
Macaulay's "Minute on Indian Education"
Cesaire, A Tempest (short excerpt)
Shakespeare, The Tempest (short excerpt)
Fanon, "The Negro and Language"
Ngugi "The Language of African Literature"
Lowe, "Travel Narratives and Orientalism"
Vigo, "Limoge, Our Women, and Other Colonial Metaphors"
Your Grader This is a discussion course and requires active and consistent participation
from ali members of the class. The breakdown of your final grade is as foUows.
• Paper #1 (6-8 pages) 20% Due 9/24
• Midterm Exam 20% 10/6
• Response Papers 15%
• Final Paper (7-10 pages) 25 % Due 12/3
• Group presentation 20%
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The format for you presentation is fairly open. You and your group should
introduce a topic that is related to things we've talked about in class (see below
for suggestions). The presentation should last between 50 and 60 minutes
(depending on the number in your group) and should involve each member of the
group equally (approximately 10 mins each).
ReQuirements for the presentation
• You must meet as a group at least a week before your assignment. After
this meeting, you should discuss your topic with me.
• You should band in a report detailing the content of the presentation
on the day it is due with a cover sheet signed by each member of the
group, attesting to equal participation. Please ensure that this is one
document, conceived by the whole group, not four separate reports of each
• You should attempt to make an argument. What does the research
you've done contribute to our discussion? What conclusions can be
• You should bave discussion questions for the class.
• You will be graded individually, BUT I will be looking for equal
participation from ali members. If one person does ali the work, the
presentation will suffer. You will be graded on the content of the
presentation, your ability to involve the class in discussion, and your
ability to work together as a group. The use of multimedia sources is
Suggested topics for presentations
• Examine the postcolonial history of a country or a people not covered in
our syllabus. Eg. Native Americans, Carribean natives or creoles, Irish or
Canadian peoples, other African countries, etc.
• Examine representations of the Other in cultural and popular discourse, ie.
music, movies, news, etc.
RESPONSE PAPER GUIDELINES
• You are required to complete nine of these throughout the semester. It
is up to you which weeks you will write a response.
• These should be typed, single-spaced and one page.
• They will be coUected on the first day a new text (novel, video, article)
is discussed. I will not accept response papers on texts that we have
already begun to talk about in class. When responding to an article, the
first paragraph should summarize the main argument of the article.
The rest of the paper should analyze the implications of the argument.
• When writing on a novel or film, you may pick any aspect of the text
that relates to issues we've been discussing in class. You should
demonstrate that you have read the whole assignment. Do not
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comment on the first few pages only. This is a formai piece of
writing. It is NOT a journal or diary entry. Do not just explain why
you do or don't like the novel/film, or do or don't under stand the
No late papers, except in the case of documented illness, will be
accepted. If you cannot make it to class you should email me your
Tentative Assignment Schedule (subject to change)
Readings are due on the date recorded and should therefore be completed BEFORE the
corresponding class day. Though we might devote more than one class period to
discussion of the readings you should COMPLETE the reading by the date noted below.
Readings may change at my discretion.
CLASS DISCUSSION/ READINGS DUE
Introduction to syllabus. In-class viewing of Gandhi
Leela Gandhi,"Postcolonialism and the new humanities" (WebCT)
Macaulay, "Minute on Indian education handout." (WebCT)
Said, "Orientalism" (WebCT)
Cesaire and Shakespeare "Tempest" excerpts (WebCT)
Fanon, "The Negro and Language" (WebCT)
Ngugi "The Language of African Literature" (WebCT)
Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions chs 1-5, pp 1-76.
Nervous Conditions chs 5-8, pp.77-149
Nervous Conditions chs 8-end, pp. 149-204
Paper One Due
Vigo, "Limoge, Gur Women, and Other Colonial Metaphors"
Lowe, "Travel Narratives and Orientalism" (WebCT)
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Campion, The Piano (This film is available through Netflix or
Blockbuster and must be viewed outside of class)
Coetzee, Poe pp.5-72
Coetzee, Foe pp.72- end
Kureishi, Buddha of Suburbìa, pp. 3-90
Kureishi, Buddha of Suburbìa, pp. 90-181
Kureishi, Buddha of Suburbìa, pp. 182-284
The Secret Rìver Paris 1-3 (pp. 3-123)
The Secret Rìver Faris 3-4 (pp. 125-185)
The Secret Rìver Paris 4-6 (pp. 189-271)
The Secret Rìver Part 6 (pp.275-334)
Fanon, "On Violence," The Wretched ofthe Earth pp. 1-62
Once Were Warrìors pp 1-107.
Once Were Warrìors pp. 108- 192
Final Paper Due