Postcolonialism: Writing and Theory (PGT) ENGLIT5125

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores the field of colonial and postcolonial studies via reading literary and cultural work from across the postcolonial world. It draws from key writers and critics to interrogate the cognate topics of race, class, caste, gender, nation, migration, language, ecology, anticolonialism, and the subaltern. The course encourages students to reflect on the historical legacies of colonialism in our contemporary global discourses, especially through those of climate change and decolonisation.  


10 x 2hr seminars over ten weeks as scheduled on MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses

ENGLIT4099: Postcolonialism: Writing and Theory (UG)




7-minute oral presentation: 10%

Close reading exercise (1000 words): 20%

Essay (3500 words): 70%

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ explore the topic of colonialism and postcolonialism through lenses such as those of gender, race, caste, class, nation, ecology, climate, migration, subaltern, and decolonisation

■ map selective works of poetry, theatre, graphic novel, creative nonfiction, films, and novels produced in the UK, the US, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Vietnam, Chile, Antigua, and others

■ investigate how literary and cultural productions from the Global South have continued to be shaped by and resist conditions of colonialism and imperialism

■ reflect, via oral and written assessment, on the need for decolonising the curriculum and the university globally

■ develop advanced independent research skills through formulating and researching essay topics with appropriate guidance

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ identify key topics within the field of postcolonialism and reflect on their continuing influence on contemporary society and culture in postcolonial and postimperial nations

■ apply advanced critical thinking to contemporary public debates on race, empire, slavery, and decolonisation

■ work independently and through seminar and group discussions to deliver public presentations with confidence

■ develop an independent research interest and produce a close reading exercise and an original research essay employing argumentation, secondary sources and scholarly skills of referencing appropriate to level 

■ map and analyse key genres and literary techniques in postcolonial literature

■ adapt their disciplinary skills and knowledge to previously unfamiliar research areas and questions

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.