Postcolonial Theory

Seminario en línea | Del 4 de abril de 2016 al 29 de mayo de 2016

By Šarūnas Paunksnis

The aim of the seminar is to introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of postcolonial studies. Starting with Edward Said’s founding text Orientalism, the course shall introduce key texts in postcolonial theory, emphasizing the contributions of Homi K. Bhabha, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and the Subaltern Studies Group. The course shall engage in critical theoretical perspectives that had influence in the field of postcolonial studies – students will be introduced to the importance of wide range of thinkers, from anti-colonial thought of Gandhi and Franz Fanon to philosophy of Antonio Gramsci, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault. Through readings of theory the course shall address the key questions and debates in postcolonial studies – representation, colonial ambivalence, hybridity, mimicry, subalternity, alterity, critique of nationalism, questions of race and gender.

Course Objectives

Engage with key questions and topics in the interdisciplinary field of postcolonial theory.
Analyze a variety of texts in postcolonial theory and familiarize themselves with key topics and debated in the field.
Learn the methodology and style of postcolonial thinking, which would help them to apply theory to particular local contexts.


Weeks 1-3: Orientalism, Critique of Colonialism and Question of Method

Week 4: Problems in Representation I: Literature

Weeks 5-6: Subaltern Studies and the Problem of History

Week 7: Hybridity, Ambivalence, Mimicry

Week 8: Problems in Representation II: Media

Key readings

Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Postcolonial Literatures. Routledge, London, 2002.
Bhabha, H.K. The Location of Culture. Routledge, London, 2004.
Chakrabarty, D. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2007.
Chatterjee, P. Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse. Zed Books, London, 1986.
Fanon, F. The Wretched of the Earth. Grove Press, New York, 2000.
Said, E. Orientalism. Pantheon Books, New York, 1978.
Shohat, E. & Stam, R. Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media. Routledge, London & New York, 1994.
Spivak, G.C. ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ In Nelson, C. & Grossberg, L. (Eds) Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1988. p. 271-313.
Young, R.J.C. Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction. Blackwell, Oxford, 2001.


Modality: Online. Working sessions take place neither in real time nor in a fixed schedule. They demand approximately 10 hours of work per week.

Duration: 8 weeks, 4 April – 29 May, 2016