Colonial and Postcolonial Writing

Subject 106-033 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Usually 12.5 points of first-year English.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Anne Maxwell
Subject Overview:

In this subject students examine fiction by canonical British authors from the late 19th and early 20th centuries who are famous for their treatment of colonial themes like the African slave trade, pioneering life, beachcombing, the pall of fear cast by degeneration, Darwinism and dying race theory, hybridity and miscegenation. They also examine some of the more remarkable works by writers from countries that were formerly part of the British Empire but which are now politically independent. In addition to exploring the texts' subject matter, students will learn about their literary styles and narrative conventions. On successful completion of the subject, students will have a greater understanding of the discourses of colonialism and postcolonialism. They will also be able to demonstrate an understanding of the more important theorectical concepts and debates currently engaging postcolonial literary critics.

Assessment: A 2000 word essay 50% (due mid-semester), and a second essay of 2000 words 50% (due at the end of the semester). Students must attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to submit assessment in this subject.Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit up to 2-weeks after the final due date without a formal extension and/or special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.
Prescribed Texts: Prescribed Texts:A subject reader will be available from the University BookroomPlain Tales from the Hills (R Kipling) Matigari (Ngugi Wa T'iongo) South Sea Tales (R Stevenson) At the Bottom of the River (J Kincaid) Heart of Darkness (J Conrad) The Joys of Motherhood (Emecheta) Dr Wooreddy's Prescription for Enduring the Ending of the World (Mudrooroo) East/West (S Rushdie) Empire Writing: An Anthology (Recommended Reading: Boehmer) Beginning Postcolonialism (Recommended Reading: McCleod)
Breadth Options: This subject is a level 2 or level 3 subject and is not available to new generation degree students as a breadth option in 2008.
This subject or an equivalent will be available as breadth in the future.
Breadth subjects are currently being developed and these existing subject details can be used as guide to the type of options that might be available.
2009 subjects to be offered as breadth will be finalised before re-enrolment for 2009 starts in early October.
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • apply new research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;

  • develop critical self-awareness and shape the capacity to persuasive arguments;

  • communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and to others.


Students who have completed 106-033 Writing After Empire are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Diploma in Arts (American Studies)
Diploma in Arts (Australian Studies)
Diploma in Arts (English)
Graduate Certificate in Arts(English Literary Studies)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (English Literature)

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