Postcolonial Literature and Language (w/ ENGL 569)
This course explores Anglophone literary works that draw upon international varieties of English in their construction. The choice of language in literary works indicates the cultural legacy of empire and colonialism, and the question of whose English is being represented and how it is depicted is critical to literary interpretation.
This class brings two kinds of tools to bear on literary texts: postcolonial theory and linguistic analysis. Students will examine some key terms and concepts in postcolonial theoretical studies and some key notions in linguistic analysis, and bring both of these to bear on literary texts that creatively adapt local forms of English in dialects, pidgins, and creoles. In the process, students will encounter the cultural environments which frame postcolonial literatures, and the specific colonial histories they inscribe, charting broad concerns such as race, gender, nationhood, diaspora, language contact, memory, and identity.
Prior familiarity with postcolonial literary theory or linguistic training is not expected.
This class will be a joint meeting of 544 and 569, cotaught by Laura Chrisman and Colette Moore.