New literatures in English (2017/2018)

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Course code
Name of lecturers
Carla Sassi, Annalisa Pes
Carla Sassi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Semester 2 dal Feb 26, 2018 al Jun 9, 2018.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims at making the students familiar with the main themes and theoretical issues characterising colonial and postcolonial literatures in English. This will be done through an in-depth analysis of representative texts which will both highlight a wider diachronic perspective and specific contexts. The wider aim of the course is to develop the students' ability to read critically (post)colonial texts and to understand the historical-political and cultural dynamics underlying them.
At the end of the course students will be able to:
- read and interpret postcolonial literary texts, and articulate confidently ideas and concepts;
- read texts in the light of the current theoretical debate on them and on related topics;
- approach critically texts from an independent perspective, appropriating and adapting the ideas and themes dealt with in class.
The module will be taught in English.


Diaspora(s) and Empire
The course will focus on the theme of diaspora, a main legacy of colonialism, and on its major inflections (assimilation/alienation, roots, hybridity, mimicry and identity, multiculturalism, fundamentalism, etc.) through the close reading of two novels: The Emperor's Babe di Bernardine Evaristo and Small Island by Andrea Levy. Both novels are set in the multiethnic and multicultural heart of Empire, London, both provide a postcolonial re-writing of European history, and both portray a fluid society, continually re-shaping cultural and identity patterns under the impact of migration(s).

Parte I (18 hrs): Carla Sassi
Parte II (18 hrs): Annalisa Pes


EVARISTO, Bernardine, The Emperor's Babe, 2010
LEVY, Andrea, Small Island, 2004

ASHCROFT, TIFFIN, GRIFFITHS (eds.), The Empire Writes Back. Theory and
Practice in Post-colonial Literatures, Routledge, 1989: Introduction,
ch.2 (Replacing language: textual strategies in postcolonial writing),
ch.4 (Theory at the crossroads: indigenous theory and postcolonial
reading), ch. 5 (Replacing Theory: postcolonial writing and literary

FURTHER BIBLIOGRAPHY (compulsory for students who will not be able to attend the course):
-Ashcroft, Tiffin, Griffiths (eds.), The Empire Writes Back:
Introduction e ch.5 (Replacing Theory: postcolonial writing and literary
-E. BOEHMER," Colonial & Postcolonial Literature", Oxford UP (1995), chs.

Further bibliographical indications in relation to Bernardine Evaristo's and Andrea Levy's works will be provided in class.
verranno date nel corso delle lezioni.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, Helen Tiffin The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literature 1989

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will assess, through oral questions, the student's ability to engage critically with the two novels, and to deploy the critical-theoretical issues and concepts discusses in class and illustrated in the critical bibliography. The latter is meant as obligatory reading and will be tested through oral questions, too.

The students are asked to come to the exam with a copy of the programme and with copies of the primary texts.

Validity of the programme: 2 academic years (until February 2020).