ENG 300.6: Postcolonial Literature

Dr. Comorau / Spring 2016
nacomora@owu.edu / Sturges 304/ x3580
Office hours M 3-4, T 1-2, W 3-4 and by appointment

The Wasted Vigil, Nadeem Aslam (Pakistan/UK) 978-0307388742
Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria) 978-1400095209
Krik? Krak!, Edwidge Danticat (Haiti) 978-0679766575
Gifts, Nuruddin Farah (Somalia) 978-0140296426
Modern African Drama, Biodun Jeyifo 978-0393975291
TransAtlantic, Colum McCann (Ireland) 978-0812981926
Beginning Postcolonialism, John McLeod 978-0719078583
Crossing the River, Caryl Phillips (St. Kitts/UK) 978-0679757948
Cracking India, Bapsi Sidwa (India/Pakistan) 978-1571310484

Reading Schedule:
We will discuss the reading listed for each day during the class period for which it is listed. You are expected to have completed the reading before class and to bring a hard (paper) copy of the reading(s) to class each day.

M 1/11          Course Introduction

W 1/13         Cracking India, pp. 1-56

F  1/15          Cracking India, pp. 57-119; McLeod, pp 1-19


M 1/18          Cracking India, pp. 120-181; McLeod, pp. 20-32

W 1/20         Cracking India, pp. 182-240; McLeod, pp. 32-41

F  1/22          Cracking India, pp. 241-89


M 1/25          Half of a Yellow Sun, pp. 3-82

W 1/27         Half of a Yellow Sun, pp. 82-168; McLeod, pp. 80-111

F  1/29          Class Canceled—Dr. Comorau away at conference


M 2/1            Half of a Yellow Sun, pp. 169-257

W 2/3           Half of a Yellow Sun, pp. 258-324; McLeod, pp. 122-34

F  2/5           Half of a Yellow Sun, pp. 327-402; McLeod, pp. 135-52


M 2/8            Half of a Yellow Sun, pp. 403-77

W 2/10         Half of a Yellow Sun, pp. 477-541

F  2/12         Gifts, pp. 1-60


M 2/15         Gifts, pp. 63-130; McLeod, pp. 197-207

W 2/17         Gifts, pp. 133-200

*R 2/18*                    **Paper 1 due at 5pm**

F  2/19          Gifts, pp. 203-46


M 2/22           Krik? Krak!, pp. 1-51

W 2/24          Krik? Krak!, pp. 52-100; McLeod, pp. 207-17

F  2/26          Krik? Krak!, pp. 101-54; McLeod, pp. 217-28


M 2/29          Krik? Krak!, pp. 155-224

W 3/2           Fire in Babylon, Screen at Beeghly before class

F 3/4             Modern African Drama (MAD), “Death and the King’s Horseman,” pp.                                      126-78 and “Theatre in African Traditional Cultures,” pp. 421-433

**spring break** 

M 3/14          MAD “Dilemma of a Ghost,” pp. 242-275 and MAD pp. 582-86 and                                          590-601

W 3/16         MAD, “Siswe Bansi is Dead,” pp. 92-125 and MAD pp. 523-547

F 3/18           MAD, “I Will Marry When I Want,” pp. 276-361 and MAD pp. 602-14

M 3/21          MAD pp. 415-20 and 434-68

W 3/23         Crossing the River, pp. 1-70

F 3/25           Crossing the River, pp. 73-124; McLeod, pp. 234-47


M 3/28           Crossing the River, pp. 124-79; McLeod, pp. 247-68

W 3/30          Crossing the River, pp. 179-237

F 4/1             Transatlantic, pp. 1-59


M 4/4             Transatlantic, pp. 60-147

W 4/6            Transatlantic, pp. 151-203

*R 4/7*           **Paper 2 due at 5pm**

F 4/8             Transatlantic, pp. 203-244


M 4/11          Transatlantic, pp. 247-98

W 4/13          The Wasted Vigil, pp.1-60

F 4/15           The Wasted Vigil, pp. 61-119


M 4/18          The Wasted Vigil, pp. 120-181

   Film screening of Frame by Frame Tuesday the 19th or Wednesday the 20th at The Strand

W 4/20         The Wasted Vigil, pp. 182-245

F 4/22           Frame by Frame discussion


M 4/25         The Wasted Vigil, pp.245-320

W 4/27         Final discussion and review


Final Exam 8:30am, Thursday 5 May in our classroom


Grading Breakdown:

Papers 40%
Reading Journal 15%
Class Engagement 15%
Presentation 5%
Final Exam 25%

A note about books:
You need every single book that I have assigned. You need a hard copy—that is a paper copy—of each book listed for this class. You need to bring the book(s) we’re discussing to class in hard copy. Most of the books for this class can be purchased used for a few dollars. Most could be ordered through the OWU libraries or a public library. But I want to be clear: I expect you to bring a hard copy of the book(s) we are reading and discussing to every class. You need your own copy of each book; sharing with a friend is not acceptable. If you cannot afford books, there are resources on campus to help. Please speak to me, and I will point you to them. I expect you to obtain your books—new, used, library, or other—in a timely fashion so that you can read them on time and bring them to class.


Reading Journal:
Each student will post a reading journal once per week—you will be assigned your journaling day during the first week of class. Your reading journal will be posted the night before class meets and it will address the material for the next class. So if your journal date is Sunday, you will post your journal by 10pm Sunday night; your journal will address the reading assigned for class the following day—Monday.

Each reading journal entry should be a minimum of 400 words. The purpose of the reading journal is to respond to one or more aspects of the text(s) that you find interesting. You may focus on one scene or character or passage or you may write about broad themes. It would be a great idea to pose questions to the class to consider for discussion.

Reading journals are due at 10 pm the night before class, so that everyone has a chance to read them before class. Journals that are posted after the 10pm deadline but before class meets will receive partial credit. Journals posted after class meets will not receive credit. Please do not send me emails asking to post late for various reasons. If you have work or rehearsal or practice on your journaling day, start early and post early.

A more detailed assignment sheet for the reading journal is posted on Blackboard.

Once this semester you will present some background information for one of the texts we read. You will be expected to speak for 3-5 minutes on your chosen topic. (If you think you need a bit more time, you may have it.) You can, if you choose, provide handouts or visuals, but neither is required.

You will write two 4-5 page papers this semester. I will post assignment sheets for them on Blackboard. Your papers are due on Thursdays (when we do not have class) and will be turned in via email. Papers are due Thursday, February 18th and Thursday, April 7th.

Class Engagement:
Class participation will be an important part of this course. Good participation includes coming to class prepared, adding your voice to the class discussion, and listening to your classmates. See the Class Engagement section under “Course Policies” for more.

Final Exam:
A comprehensive final exam will be given in our classroom at 8:30 am on Thursday, May 5th. We will discuss the exam format in class some weeks prior to the exam. I will bring coffee and donuts.

Course Policies:

If you have learning or other disabilities that require accommodation for you to be successful in this class, please speak to me during the first week of classes or as soon as you learn of your disabilities. All conversations on disabilities will be kept confidential, as with all of your education records. If you have not already spoken with Bridget Goggin in the Disability Services Center, you should do so immediately. (316 Corns)

Late Work Policy:
Reading journals: Reading journals posted past the 10pm deadline but before the next class meets will result in a 5-point deduction from your half-term reading journal grade. Reading journals posted beyond that point will earn zeroes. Reading journals are meant to prepare you and your classmates for the day’s class, so they will not earn credit if posted after class begins.

Brief Presentations: If you miss class when you are supposed to present, you will not be able to present. If you have a documented emergency and there is enough time left in the semester, I may be able to work with you. Emergencies would include serious, unavoidable situations: major illness, police custody, grave family emergency. Emergencies do not include being tired, having other work due, forgetting which day you signed up for, extracurricular activities, or scheduling errors.

Papers: For papers, each student will be allowed one 48-hour extension to use on any one paper. After that, a paper will be marked down one letter grade for each 24-hour period it is late. The extension may not be used for any assignment other than the papers. The extension may not be used for the draft of the paper.