ENGL 223 B1: Reading Politics: Empire and the Postcolonial

E. Kent

This course invites students to consider the relationship between culture and imperialism, introducing key concepts developed by literary critics seeking to explain the ways in which texts help manufacture political consent. Though imperialism has always existed in one form or another, our particular interest will be the British Empire, the political and military force that laid the groundwork for, among others, the settler nation of Canada. Together we will read texts published at the height of the British Empire in order to appreciate the diverse ways empire is represented in culture. Then we will turn to postcolonial reflections upon the uncomfortable and unresolved legacies of Britain's imperial practices.

Literary Texts

J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies

Rudyard Kipling, The Man Who Would Be King, and Other Stories

The Man Who Would be King (1975)

Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005)

Theory: Selections from Achebe, Cesaire, Fanon, CLR James, JanMohamed, Lazarus,

Mbembe, McClintock, Nixon, Orwell, Said, Spivak, and Stoler