Faculty of Arts


Global Literatures: Contested Spaces

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for ENGLISH 112.


What issues inspire and challenge writers in the postcolonial world? The varied experiences of settling a foreign country or being taken over by a foreign power, of gaining independence or living as a cultural minority within your ancestral home, or of leaving one’s home to seek a new and better life, have left their mark on peoples across the globe. This course examines a fascinating range of texts from diverse places around the world. How do writers resist – or write back to – the legacies of history and find productive ways forward? What is at stake in writing in the language left behind by the coloniser rather than in a country’s native tongue? What makes writing authentic or indigenous? In what ways are our writers’ situations and understandings connected? These and other questions drive our exploration of the contested spaces and new boundaries of literature in the postcolonial world.

Availability 2018

Not taught in 2018




Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus (Chapel Hill: Algonquin, 2003)

Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (New York: Grove Press, 2005)

Margaret Atwood, Surfacing (London: Virago, 1979)

Brian Friel, Translations (London: Faber, 1981)

Briar Grace-Smith, When Sun and Moon Collide (Wellington: Huia, 2000)

Rudyard Kipling, The Man Who Would be King and Other Stories (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999)

Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (London: Flamingo, 1997)

Robert Louis Stevenson, South Sea Tales (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999)

Poetry and additional material contained in course reader.

Recommended Reading



1 x class test (15%), 1 x 1,500 word essay (30%), 1 x 2hr exam (2 essay style questions) (50%), 5% tutorial participation [Tutorial participation is measured according to the performance of a set task within each tutorial]


ENGLISH 112: 15.0 points

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