New literatures in English (2016/2017)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Susanna Zinato, Annalisa Pes
Susanna Zinato
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II SEMESTRE dal Feb 27, 2017 al Jun 10, 2017.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The module aims at making the students 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 wide diachronic view but with a special care for their specific contexts. The wider aim is aimed at improving the student's individual critical approach to the texts and to the historical-political and cultural dynamics underlying them.
The module will be taught in English.


After a necessary introduction to the specifics of the discipline, the module will tackle the theme of shame in the literature of apartheid-ridden South Sfrica e of the Australia of the "stolen generations" by focusing the students' reflection on two novels chosen for their intensely representative power, as well as on other documental material.

Primary sources:
-J.-P. SARTRE, "Préface/Prefazione" a F.Fanon, "Les damnés de la terre/I dannati della terra" (1961)
- J.M. COETZEE, "Age of Iron" (2009)
- GAIL JONES, "Sorry" (2007)
- A choice of testimonies of the "Stolen Generations" drawn from the collection edited by CARMEL BIRD, "The Stolen Children. Their Stories" (1998) [non-attending students are requested to read the whole collection, including the introduction]

Critical Bibliography:
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 theory”). [Non-attending sudents: Introduction and Ch.5, to be supplemented with Boehmer's handbook, cf. below]
_ D. ATTWELL, “ ‘Dialogue and Fulfilment’ in J.M. Coetzee’s Age of Iron” in Writing South Africa: Literature, Apartheid, and Democracy, 1970-1995, Attridge D. and Jolly R.J. (eds.), Cambridge UP (1998)
_ D. ATTRIDGE, “Trusting the Other: Age of Iron”, in J.M. Coetzee and the Ethics of Reading. Literature in the Event, University of Chicago Press (2004)-
_ As a useful reference on apartheid, cf. D. SMITH MARSHALL, Apartheid in South Africa, Cambridge UP (1990)

_ ASCROFT, TIFFIN, GRIFFITHS (eds.). "The Empire Writes Back" : Introduction and ch.5 (“Replacing Theory: postcolonial writing and literary theory”)[Only these sections from the book]
_ E. BOEHMER, Colonial & Postcolonial Literature, Oxford UP (1995), chs. 1,2,3,5.
-D. HEAD, “Coetzee’s Life” (ch.1), “Coetzee’s Contexts” (ch.2), in "The Cambridge Introduction to J.M. Coetzee", Cambridge UP, (2009)
_ K.L. WORTHINGTON, "Age of Iron", (ch.8) in T. MEHIGAN (ed.), "A Companion to the Works of J.M. Coetzee", Camden House, 2011
_R. KENNEDY, "Australian Trials of Trauma: the Stolen Generations in Human Rights, Law, and Literature", Comparative Literature Studies, 48, 3,2011, pp.333-55

With the attending students it has been decided to collect the critical bibliography given above in authorized plaquettes: one is for both attending and non-attending students (and it includes Sartre's text) ; another, obligatory and supplementary, is exclusively for non-attending students (it does not include Boehemer's handbook chapters, that the students must provide him/herself with separately). Non-attending students are to contact directly professors Zinato and Pes for information concerning the the availability of these collections.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam is meant to assess, through oral questions, the student's individual ability to engage critically with the literary texts scheduled for the course by resorting to the critical-theoretical issues and concepts dealt with in class, as well as to 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 their own primary texts.

Validity of the programme: 2 academic years (until February 2019).