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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF2065 Post-Colonial Critique

20 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Professor John Mowitt

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Pre-requisite qualifications

At least 20 credits of level 1 ARTF modules

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is suitable for students with a good first-year foundation in cultural analysis and academic skills who have an academic interest in culture, history, politics, literature, art, film and/or language. The module shows how colonial legacies and an evolving postcolonial consciousness have impacted on cultural production, cultural theory, policy and contemporary life.It will provide an overview of central ideas and theorists and raise awareness of issues relating to colonisation and decolonisation, postcoloniality, 'race' and ethnicity, migration and diaspora, language and literature and cultural diversity in contemporary societies.In their essays, students are encouraged to relate their main programme of study to the thoughts and materials introduced and discussed in the module


This module provides an introduction to postcolonial critique. It offers an overview of the political, cultural, literary, cinematic and intellectual facets of postcolonialism which critically engages with the history and conditions of colonialism, resistance to it and its aftermath.

The module provides opportunities to discuss and analyse colonial and postcolonial representations and see how a postcolonial gaze helps to access previously unacknowledged artefacts and practices and to revisit canonical works of former colonial centres.

The module also serves as a foundation for students who wish to pursue the study of postcolonial culture(s) further or use postcolonial analytical strategies in other modules or dissertation projects. The module is designed to raise awareness of the complexities and histories of contemporary cultural diversity within Europe and elsewhere. It benefits from the participation of international students, students with migratory or diasporic backgrounds and students who are planning to study abroad.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module, students will be familiar with a number of aspects relating to the history and strategies of postcolonial critique and will be able to discuss the significance of 'race' and ethnicity, colonialism and anti-colonialism, decolonisation and nationalism, gender, language, subaltern resistance, migration and diaspora, identity and hybridity as major tropes in contemporary theoretical debate.
They will be able to use postcolonial theory in the analysis of cultural forms such as cinema, literature and popular culture. They will have an understanding of postcolonial theory as a response to a specific history. They will be familiar with a range of approaches within postcolonialism.
Theorists discussed may include Homi K. Bhabha, Frantz Fanon, Paul Gilroy, Stuart Hall, bell hooks, Trin Minh-Ha, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Robert Young and others

Skills outcomes
- Engagement with various text types, audiovisual material and complex historical and theoretical texts
- Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument
- Participation in group discussions
- Using libraries, bibliographies and databases.


1. Coming to Terms
2. 'Race'
3. Representation and Orientalism
4. Decolonisation, Anti-Colonialism and the Nation
5. Double Colonisation: Postcolonialism and Gender
6. Reading Week
7. Language and Literature
8. The Post-Colonial Critic: Introducing Gayatri Spivak
9. Hybridity, Ambivalence and Mimicry: Introducing Homi Bhabha
10. Migration, Diaspora, Multiculturalism, Cultural Diversity, Hospitality, Conviviality: The Case of Britain
11. Concluding Session.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Film Screenings12.002.00
Private study hours176.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)198.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Attendance is monitored and opportunities for discussing the essay project are available.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000-3,000 word essay50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 27/04/2017


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