Develop your own expertise in the relationship between politics, culture, and imperialism, whilst exploring the urgency and vibrancy of postcolonial writing. Topics may include postcolonial responses to the climate emergency, global capitalism, migration and diaspora. If you have never studied postcolonial literature before, or if you wish to expand your existing reading, our modules are dedicated to both canonical works and the very latest developments in the field.
The University of Kent was one of the first universities to establish postcolonial literary studies in the UK and has continued to play a significant part in the development of the field with an incredible national and international reputation. Among the teachers involved in the programme are Bashir Abu-Manneh, Bahriye Kemal, Kaori Nagai, Maria Ridda and Matthew Whittle (see staff research interests for further details).
Knowledge and understanding
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
- a wide range of colonial and postcolonial texts, primarily but not exclusively in English
- the interaction between colonial and postcolonial texts, in terms of the imperialist world’s rendering of the colonial and postcolonial assertions of autonomy
- the relation between critical theory in general, and various kinds of postcolonial theory
- the concepts, terminology and modes of thought specific to postcolonial theory and criticism
- the cultural conditions of production of contemporary postcolonial literatures
- the wider intellectual and academic context from which postcolonial studies has developed.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- the application of the skills needed for academic study and enquiry at graduate level.
- the evaluation of research findings
- the ability to synthesise information from a range of primary and secondary sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of theory and practice
- the ability to make discriminations and selections of relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge
- the ability to think conceptually and to criticise analytically.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- advanced skills in the close critical analysis of colonial and postcolonial writing
- developed and critical understanding of the variety of critical and theoretical approaches to the study of postcolonial literatures
- developed scholarly practice in the presentation of formal written work, of bibliographic and annotation practices, and of structuring and developing an argument over an extended piece of written work
- a nuanced understanding of how cultural norms and assumptions influence questions of judgement.
You will gain the following transferable skills:
- developed powers of communication and the capacity to argue a point of view, in extended oral and written form, with clarity, organisation, cogency and sophistication
- the ability to think independently, analytically, critically and self-critically
- the ability to assimilate and organise substantial quantities of complex information of diverse kinds
- an advanced level of competence in the formulation, planning and execution of extended written projects
- an advanced level of competence in the formulation, planning and formal oral presentation of research papers
- the experience of collaborative intellectual work
- the ability to understand, interrogate and apply a variety of theoretical positions and weigh the importance of alternative perspectives
- trained research skills, including scholarly information retrieval skills
- IT skills: word-processing, email communication, the ability to access electronic data.
This programme aims to:
- explore a wide range of writing resulting from the encounter between imperialist and colonised countries and cultures
- examine this writing in the wider context of colonial and postcolonial history
- study how this writing and its history have been theorised
- develop your research skills to the point where you are ready to undertake a research degree
- develop your oral skills to the point where you are able to present a conference-type paper to your peers.