ENGL 45264 New Directions in Postcolonial Studies

CRES 45264

Postcolonial studies emerged as an influential sub-field in English departments in the metropolitan academy in the last decades of the twentieth century. This course is an attempt to identify and map the new directions that postcolonial studies appears to be currently moving into, a few decades on. Some of these shifts are clearly signaled, while others might be less perceptible. Even as it engages with new and urgent issues, adopts methods opened up by newtechnologies, and identifies fresh objects of study that promise greater relevance and staying power, postcolonial studies is also encountering challenges to its historical focus and its method as critique. We will focus on six key developments in the field:  

  1. a turn towards the anthropocene/environment, as an extension of the ‘postcolonial’ towards larger ‘planetary’ concerns and consciousness;  
  2. additional or renewed emphasis on the politics of language (i.e.English, Anglophony/Francophony, and the ‘vernaculars’), and the politics of translation.  
  3. research in colonial and postcolonial print cultures and book history;  
  4. different histories and alternative geographies (decolonial studies; globalization; settler colonialism; indigenous studies; reconfigured regionalisms) 
  5. the emergence of 'world literature' as rival paradigm; and  
  6. the critique of ‘critique' (the impact on postcolonial studies of the turn away from ‘critique’ in literary studies)  
2021-2022 Spring