ENG 104: Literature After 1945: Postwar, Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature

Year offered

Literary and cultural studies have been radically altered by the introduction of discourses that interrogate colonialism, power, and empire. The unidirectional gaze from center to periphery has been returned, and the resulting parallax has created important anti-colonial frameworks and methodologies for engaging with the literary and cultural production coming from former colonies in Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Caribbean and Pacific Islands. These interrogations, post-colonial and postcolonial, place terms like identity, subjectivity, decolonization, migration, language, terror, hegemony, truth and knowledge in a renewed crucible. Postmodernism/post-modernism has also splintered and exploded the determinacy of literature and language. Master narratives are made to face their ironies, and a process of destabilization to the certainty of history, periodization, identity, epistemology, presence and meaning, occurs through prolonged critical pauses on difference, the symptom, the trace and minor characters. In the latter half of the twentieth century and on into the twenty-first century, these modes of analyses have intersected with studies of disability, gender, race, feminism, sexuality, transnationalism, postnationalism, transoceanism, whiteness, and the environment, to greatly diversify and transform the study of literature. This course enters into that post-1945 realm, introducing students to an array of literature and theory that signifies, plays with and forms an inter-textual relationship with narratives they will have encountered in earlier surveys in the ENG 100s sequence. Students are encouraged to be as careful and daring as the texts they encounter.