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EN3213 Postcolonial Literature and Theory

SCOTCAT credits:30
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 9
Planned timetable:1.00 pm Tue and 1.00 pm Thu

A diverse and contested field, postcolonialism explores a world transformed by European exploration, exploitation and empire-building. This course examines literary representations of this world and will introduce students to a range of key texts, critical debates and theoretical concepts in postcolonial studies. Focusing, in particular (but not exclusively), on the legacies of the British empire, we will explore the work of writers from across Africa, the Caribbean, India and Britain in order to question the ways in which postcolonial literature and theory challenges our understanding of race, class, gender, language and the individual. How has the history of empire shaped the world in which we live? In what ways have writers responded to the pressures to both commemorate the colonial past and move beyond it? And, what role can literature play in the attempt to challenge the historical and political injustices of our postcolonial world? (Group E)

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Group E Optional for English

UG Pre-requisite(s):EN2003, EN2004

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:2 x 1-hour seminars, and 2 optional consultative hours.
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 20
  • Guided independent study: 280

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 50%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 50%
UG As used by St Andrews:2-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%
UG Re-assessment:3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator:Dr L M Burns
Module teaching staff:Dr L M Burns