The course aims at making the student familiar with the main themes and theoretical issues characterizing colonial and postcolonial literatures in English. This is done through an in-depth analysis of representative texts that are studied in their textual dynamics through a diachronic view but with a special care for their specific contexts.
The Southern African roman fou
After introducing the discipline, this module will focus upon madness in Southern African (South Africa and Rhodesia/Zimbabwe) fiction as inflected through the deranged voices of three mad heroines of novels that are crucially representative of the colonial/postcolonial African roman fou in English: Mary in The Grass is Singing, Magda in In the Heart of the Country and Elizabeth in A Question of Power. This will be done through a close reading of the texts in a constant dialogue with their contexts.
- D. LESSING, The Grass is Singing (1950)
- J.M. COETZEE, In the Heart of the Country (1976)
- B. HEAD, A Question of Power (1974)
- F. FANON, Black Skin, White Masks (1957).
- B. DRAINE, Substance under Pressure, The University of Wisconsin Press, 1983, chapter I.
- D. HEAD, J.M. Coetzee, CUP, 1997, ch.3 (“The wrong kind of love”).
- H. IBRAHIM (ed.), Emerging Perspectives on Bessie Head, Trenton, 2004, chapter by H. Bhana (“Reading Ghostly Desire: Writing the Edges of Bessie Head’s A Question of Power”), pp.33-50.
General reference textbooks:
-B. Ashcroft, G. Griffiths, H. Tiffin (eds.), The Empire Writes Back. Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures, Routledge, 1989, more specifically: “Introduction” (1-13); chapter 2 “Re-placing language: textual strategies in post-colonial writing” (37-59); chapter 5 pp.181-194.
Suggested Reading (optional):
-B. Ashcroft, G. Griffiths, H. Tiffin (eds.), Key Concepts in Post-Colonial Studies, Routledge, 1998
-E. Benson, L.W. Connolly (eds.), The Routledge Encyclopedia of Post-colonial Literatures in English, 2005
-J. Wilkinson, “Il Sudafrica” (pp.48-74), in A. Lombardo (a cura di), Le orme di Prospero, NIS, 1995
- Sull’ apartheid: D.M. Smith, Apartheid in South Africa, CUP, 1990 e/o A.J. Christopher, The Atlas of Apartheid, Witwatersrand UP, 2005.
Additional compulsory bibliography for non-attending student:
non–attending students are requested to supplement the list of readings scheduled for attending students with the following, compulsory, one:
- E. Boehmer, Colonial & Postcolonial Literature, Oxford UP, 1995 (Introduction + Chapters 1,2,5)
- R. Whittaker, Doris Lessing, 1988, ch.1 (pp.1-16) and ch. 2 (pp.17-34)
-S. Zinato and A. Pes (eds.), Ex-centric Writing: Essays on Madness in Postcolonial Fiction, Cambridge Scholars Publishings, 2013, “Introduction”, ch. 2 (by C. Concilio) and ch. 3 (by S. Zinato)
- S. Zinato, The house is empty. Grammars of madness in J.Frame’s Scented Gardens for the Blind and B. Head’s A Question of Power, Clueb, 1999, pp.197-233 (pages dealing with Head).
Informazioni relative al materiale bibliografico e al suo reperimento saranno fornite all’inizio del corso.
Il corso sarà tenuto in lingua inglese/Module taught in English
Assessment at the end of the course through oral examination