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British Literature of the African and Asian Diaspora

Class at Faculty of Arts |



The course focuses on readings of texts exemplifying multicultural Britain and their re-narration of post-colonial experiences of exile and otherness. A brief excursion into the problematics of contemporary theoretical approaches will be followed by analyses of poems and novels by contemporary writers of Afro-Caribbean, African and Asian origin settled in and writing from Britain. Attention will be paid especially to the ways in which this body of writing can expand our understanding of the complex negotiations of identity: the possible shifts in identity that occur in relation to migration, the diasporic experience and the workings of the politics of inclusion and exclusion that erase and inscribe difference. Further issues for discussion and analysis include the role of language, memory and history, family and home, gender construction, oral and literary traditions. Discussions of primary texts will be supplemented by theoretical and critical readings exemplifying the range of contemporary (post-colonial) approaches.

NOTE: the course is open only to MA students including DALC ERASMUS MA students.

MATERIAL novels: Hanif Kureishi – The Buddha of Suburbia

Sam Selvon – The Lonely Londoners

Caryl Phillips - The Final Passage

Salman Rushdie – from The Satanic Verses

Zadie Smith – White Teeth or Bernardine Evaristo - The Emperor's Babe

(Please, note that the list of readings is subject to change. Consult the latest syllabus below. All material, except some of the long novels, is available on moodle.)

Short selections from the prose and poetry of Wole Soyinka, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jackie Kay, Grace Nichols,

Fred D'Aguiar, Merle Collins, Derek Walcott, Amryl Johnson, Benjamin Zephaniah, James Berry, Sujata Bhatt,

David Dabydeen etc. Theoretical texts include selections from the works of Homi Bhabha, Avtar Brah, G. Spivak, etc.


Credit requirements include active participation, one oral presentation or an essay based on a primary text

(conditions for the submission of this essay are listed in the course syllabus below.)