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EN251 New Literatures in English

 Partition 1947African Literature

This is a Pathway Approved Option for the World and Comparative Literature Pathway and one of the Distributional Requirements for the English Pathway. Can also be selected as an option under the remaining Pathways.


There will be variation in Assessment and Exams for 2nd and 3rd Year Students in order to register the progress they are making from their 2nd to 3rd years.



Term 1: Rashmi Varma (

Term 2: Neil Lazarus (

Office hours: TBC

Lectures: Thursdays, 2.00-3.00pm

Seminars: TBC



Through the medium of English, writers from Africa and Asia today confront a (prospectively) global audience. This module aims to introduce students to the emergent body of literature being produced by writers (and film-makers) from South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa generally, and South Asia, and to situate it in terms of the historical circumstances that have engendered it and to which it constitutes a response. The module will examine the various ways in which different writers negotiate and represent social conditions -- local and global -- in their work, and the ways in which they incorporate and work with domestic and foreign literary forms and conventions. The works will be read comparatively, in relation to one another, and as contributions to particular literary and cultural traditions. Social issues under review will range very widely: for example, race, violence, religion and communalism, land, ‘development’ and the environment, sex and gendered identity, nation and state, memory, trauma and prolepsis, English as a world language and English as a language of cultural imperialism.

Method of Assessment
Students taking this course are required to produce two essays. These will be due on Tuesday, Term 2, Week 2 and Tuesday, Term 3, Week 2. There will also be a two-hour examination in June. The assessed essays each count for 25% of the final mark (total 50%); the exam counts for the remaining 50%.

TERM ONE: South Asia

Week One: Introduction to the Module

Week Two: Partition Narratives

Urvashi Butalia, excerpt from The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India (2000) Butalia, The Other Side of Silence

Saadat Hasan Manto, 'Toba Tek Singh' (1955). Kingdom's End and Other Stories (1987) manto_toba_tek_singh.pdf

Manto, 'Khol Do' (1950). The Annual of Urdu Studies 27 (2012) Manto, Khol Do

Kamleshwar, 'Kitne Pakistan' (1966-7). Tarun K. Saint, ed. Translating Partition: Essays, Stories, Criticism (2001) Kamleshwar, Kitne Pakistan

Faiz Ahmed Faiz, 'The Dawn of Freedom' (1947). Tr. Agha Shahid Ali. The Annual of Urdu Studies 11 (1996) Faiz, The Dawn of Freedom

Week Three: Salman Rushdie, Shame (1983)

Film: Garm Hawa (1974) (dir., M.S. Sathyu, Urdu, with English subtitles, film)

Screening: Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Week Four: Mirza Waheed, The Collaborator (2011)

Week Five: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (1997)

Week Six: No class. Reading Week

Week Seven: Amitav Ghosh, The Hungry Tide (2004)

Week Eight: Amruta Patil, Kari (2008)

Film: Masaan (Crematorium) (2015) (dir., Neeraj Ghaywaan)

Week Nine: Arvind Adiga, The White Tiger (2008)

Week Ten: Mahasweta Devi, ‘Pterodactyl, Puran Sahay, and Pirtha’. Imaginary Maps (1995) Pterodactyl

Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, ‘November is the Month of Migrations’, ‘Baso-jhi’ and 'The Adivasi Will Not Dance' from The Adivasi Will Not Dance: Stories (2015)

TERM TWO: Sub-Saharan Africa

Week One: Introduction to the Term

Week Two: Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (1988)

Week Three: Nadine Gordimer, The House Gun (1998)

Week Four: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006)

Week Five: Film (screening to be arranged): Tsotsi (dir. Gavin Hood, 2005)

Week Six: No class. Reading Week

Week Seven: Mia Couto, Confession of the Lioness (2012)

Week Eight: Film (screening to be arranged): Moolaadé (dir. Ousmane Sembene, 2004)

Week Nine: NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names (2013)

Week Ten: Zoë Wicomb, October (2014)