ENG 315: East Meets West: Colonial and Post-Colonial Encounters,

Dr. Nawar Golley, Department of English & Translation Studies, The American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Course Description

ENG 315 examines the representations of the Middle East, India, China, and North Africa in the works of North American and European writers. It also addresses the responses to and representations of westerners by non-western writers. Some of the writers studied may include Kipling, Forster, Durrell, Camus, Heresy, Kiteley, Desai, Shamas, Ghali, El-Saadawi, Kabbani, Adnan and Maalouf. The course introduces students to basic ideas in the writings of such post-colonial theorists as Said, Spivak, Mahonty, Mernissi and others. A term paper is required.

General Information

Required Course Textbook/Materials

Students are required to purchase a reading packet prepared by me especially for this course. It is available at the AUS Copy Centre, located in the Post Office. Other reading material, if needed, will be made available in a folder, placed in the library Reserve Section, marked: ENG 315. Dr N. Golley. Each student can borrow any reading for half an hour only for photocopying. Students are also required to read some of the suggested texts available in the library. (Or they may purchase relevant texts from local bookstores.) Please see Appendix I.

I placed some Videotapes (in Appendix II) in the Library Reserve (those marked with asterisks) for our use in class and for students of ENG 315 to borrow and watch at their convenience.

A reading/note-taking journal is required. Please bring it with you together with any required reading every class.

Course Objectives and Expected Outcomes

On completing the requirements of ENG 315, students should be able to:

Class Format

Class will depend heavily on in-class lecture, discussion and students' reports. It is important that you attend class regularly, read actively (annotate), discuss, take notes and write to earn a good grade.

Course Requirements

Reading assignments must be completed BEFORE class on the day they are scheduled. Active reading requires annotating the text for class participation and quizzes. In-class participation requires interaction with other students. To participate actively is to be involved in vigorous discussions! Volunteering to lead discussions (to be a Discussant) is also encouraged.


Each student must schedule a conference by the end of week 6, the latest, to select a book, topic, or author for a written Term Paper and oral presentation. All students have to prepare feedback reports on presentations.

Tentative Class Schedule

Week 1: 17-21 Jan Introduction to the course. What is "Postcolonial/Post-Colonial"? Reading: Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin:"Introduction".

Week 2: 24-28 Jan Universality & Difference Reading: Cihnua Achebe: "Colonialist Criticism" Discussant:

Week 3: 31 Jan-4 Feb Eid al-Adhha Holiday

Week 4: 7-11 Feb Representation & Resistance Reading: Edward W. Said: Orientalism Rudyard Kipling: "The Overland Mail". Poem. Handout Video: Edward W. Said : on Orientalism. DS61. 6. E38 1998 Discussant:

Week 5: 14-18 Feb Language Reading: Ngugi wa Thiong'o: "The Language of African Literature" Video: Stuart Hall : Representation & the Media. HM101. S78 1997 Discussant: Quiz

Week 6: 21-25 Feb Education Reading: Philip G. Altbach: "Education and Neocolonialism" Video: V. S. Naipaul : The Enigma of Writing. PR9272. 9. N32 Z75 2000 Discussant:

Week 7: 28 Feb -- 3 Mar Nationalism Reading: Frantz Fanon: "National Culture" Discussant:

Week 8: 6-10 Mar Hybridity Readings: Homi K. Bhabha: "Cultural Diversity and Cultural Difference;" Edward Kamau Brathwaite: "Creolization in Jamaica" Discussant: Quiz

Week 9: 13-17 Mar Ethnicity Readings: Trinh T. Minh-ha: "No Master territory;" Stuart Hall: "New Ethnicities;" Gareth Griffiths: "The Myth of Authenticity;" Video: Trinh T. Minh-ha. Reassemblage HQ 1814. 5 R42 1982 Discussant:

Wed. 17th -- Sat. 20th Mar: Spring Break

Week 10: 20-24 Mar Feminism & Post-colonialism Readings: Nawar Al-Hassan Golley: "Why Colonial Discourse?" Chandra Talpade Mohanty: "Under Western Eyes: Feminism Scholarship and Colonial Discourses" Discussant: Quiz

Week 11: 27-31 Mar Feminism & Post-colonialism Readings: Sara Suleri: "Woman Skin Deep: Feminism and the Postcolonial Condition;" Sarah Mills: "Gender and the Study of Colonial Discourse;" Video: Song of Umm Dalaila: the story of the Sahrawis. DT346. S7 S664 1993 Discussant:

Week 12: 3-7 April Production & Consumption Readings: W. J. T. Mitchell: "Postcolonial Culture, Postimperial Criticism;" Philip G. Altbach: "Literary Colonialism: Books in the Third World" Discussant: Quiz

Week 13: 10-14 April Critical Reflections Reading: Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin: "Re-Thinking the Post-Colonial" Discussant:

Week 14: 17-21 April Critical Reflections Quiz

Week 15: 24-28 April Presentations

Week 16: 1-5 May Presentations

Week 17: 8-11 May Where do we go from here?

Tue. 11th May is the last day of classes.

Appendix I Suggested Texts for Reading and Term Paper Topics

Season of Migration to the North. Tayeb Saleh PJ7862. A564 M3 1970

Things Fall Apart. Chinua Achebe PR9387.9. A3 T5 1994

The Joys of Motherhood. Buchi Emecheta PR9387.9 E387 1994

Hayati. Miriam Cooke PS3553. O5569 H39 2000

I know Many Songs, but I cannot Sing. Brian Kiteley PS3561. I855 I15 1996 (Also Check AUS Bookstore)

A Passage to India. E. M. Forster PR6011.O58 P3 1990

Arabian Sands. Wilfred Thesiger DS208. T48 1994 DS208. T48 1994

Crossing Borders. Judith Caesar CT275.C15 A3 1997

Sandpiper. Ahdaf Soueif On order

The Open Door. Latifa Al-Zayyat PJ7876. App B 3313 2002

A Sky So Close. Betool Khedairi PJ7842. H68513 2001

Woman at Point Zero. Nawal el-Saadawi PJ7862. A3 W6 1999

Dream Stuff: stories . David Malouf PR9619.3.M265 D74 2000

Johnno: a novel. PR9619.3.M265 J64 1998

An imaginary life: a novel. PR9619.3.M265 I47 1996

The Handmaid's Tale. Margaret Atwood PR9199.3.A8 H3 1998

Texts by: V. S. Naipaul, Anita Desai, Sara Suleri. Texts in The Arnold Anthology of Post-Colonial Literatures in English. John Thieme (ed.) PR 9085. A7 1996

Appendix II Media Collection

*1- Edward Said : on Orientalism. DS61.6.E38 1998 41 mins

Edward Said's book Orientalism has been influential in a diverse range of disciplines since its publication in 1978. In this interview he talks about the context in which the book was conceived, its main themes, and how its original thesis relates to the contemporary understanding of "the Orient."

2- Edward Said: the Myth of the Clash of Civilizations. D860. M97 1998 55 mins

"In this important lecture delivered at the University of Massachusetts, Edward Said takes aim at one of the central tenets of recent foreign policy thinking - that conflicts between different and clashing "civilizations" (Western, Islamic, Confucian) characterize the contemporary world. Said argues that collapsing complex, diverse and contradictory groups of people into vast, simplistic abstractions has disastrous consequences. Presenting instead a vision of the "coexistence" of difference, Said concludes with the fundamental challenge that faces humanity at the turn of the millennium"--Container.

*3- Stuart Hall : Representation & the Media. HM101.S78 1997 55 mins

Hall, a renowned public speaker and teacher, lectures on the central ideas of cultural studies-- that reality is not experienced directly, but through the lens of culture, through the way that human beings represent and tell stories about the world in which they live. Using visual examples, Hall shows how the media-- and especially the visual media-- have become the key players in the process of modern story telling.

4- Shatranj ke khiladi / [presented by] Devki Chitra Productions. PN1995.9. F67 S53 1997 124 mins

Based on the short story The "Chess-players," by Premachanda. This colourful period drama about colonialism and indigenous culture is set in 1856 at the court of Wajid Ali Shah in Lucknow, the capital of Oudh. It features two parallel narratives: the first shows the interminable games of chess played by two hookah-smoking zamindars; the other dramatises the conflict between Wajid Ali Shah and General Charles Outram who represents Lord Dalhousie's treacherously implemented annexation policies. Wajid Ali is shown as a politically weak figure who surrenders to the British without a fight.

*5- Song of Umm Dalaila: the story of the Sahrawis / Dakkuma Productions ; produced and directed by Danielle Smith. DT346. S7 S664 1993 35 mins

This film takes place in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria against the historical backdrop of Spanish colonialism and the Moroccan invasion of the Western Sahara. Documentary highlights the experiences of the Sahrawi women, who make up 80% of the adult refugee population. Interviews with various women reveal how they came to assume primary responsibility for the survival of the refugees.

*6- Reassemblage / produced by Jean-Paul Bourdier; directed by Trinh T. Minh-ha. HQ 1814.5 R42 1982 40 mins

A complex visual study of the women of rural Senegal. Women are the focus but not the object of Trinh T. Minh-ha's influential first film, a complex visual study of the women of rural Senegal. Through a complicity of interaction between film and spectator, Reassemblage reflects on documentary filmmaking and the ethnographic representation of cultures. "With uncanny eloquence, Ressemblage distills sounds and images of Senegalese villagers and their surroundings to reconsider the premises and methods of ethnographic filmmaking. By disjunctive editing and a probing narration this 'documentary' strikingly counterpoints the authoritative stance typical of the National Geographic approach." -- Laura Thielan.

*7- V. S. Naipaul : The Enigma of Writing. PR9272.9.N32 Z75 2000 53 mins

Naipaul explores the relationship between a writer and his work, offering insight into his life, his career, and his subtly incisive novel/memoir The Enigma of Arrival In particular, he contrasts the inspiration of living in the English countryside with the Caribbean, Indian, and African influences that dominate his earlier writings. Excerpts from Miguel Street, A House for Mr. Biswas, and other books -- read by actor Roshan Seth and by Naipaul himself -- round out this engaging interview.

8- City of the Dead and the World Exhibitions. CB251 .C54 1995 1995 78 mins

Six writers and academics, Janet Abu-Lughod, Akbar Ahmed, Husein Ahmed Amin, Edwar al-Kharrat, Mex Rodenbeck and Timothy Mitchell, discuss the Islamic city, the role of minorities in Islamic society, the role of religious institutions, colonization, and the views of the colonial world provided in the world exhibitions of the nineteenth century, in 1851 in London and in 1889 in Paris. The emphasis of the discussions is Egypt and North Africa, with some reference to India and Pakistan.

9- Imperial City NA1508. N4 I45 1980 48 mins

Discusses the use and influence of British architectural styles in colonial India.

Appendix III References

For guidelines on writing Term papers, please visit the following sites:



You can also consult How to write Your Term Paper. LB2369. Y34 1985 in The Reference section in the Library.

A Term Paper is about 10 pages of 250 words a page = circa 2000 words.

Journal Suggestions

1- Glossary of terminology and new words for each reading. Such as:

2- Web/Library search on Authors of Readings

Postcolonial Web Related Courses

Last Modified: 10 January 2004