ENGLISH 340 - Studies in Poetry
Fall 2023, Section 001 - Postcolonial Poetry
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Given the specificity it pays to language, its proximity to given musical traditions, and also the fact that it is often difficult to translate, poetry has been thought of as the most culturally-specific genre in literature. Meaning that poetry stays local, or national, and that is does not cross borders very well. 

That assumption began to be challenged beginning in the Nineteenth century with the increase in literary translation and literacy world-wide. Beginning with the Twentieth century, poets have felt the need to speak to audiences beyond their linguistic spheres to address what has become a much more globalized world. 

The desire to speak to the rest of the world, and in many ways to speak truth to power, was especially manifest among postcolonial poets in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East who needed not only to speak their minds and to chronicle the lives of their own people, but also to address the colonial powers dominating their homelands. 

Postcolonial poetry is the poetry of colonized peoples which has by necessity become global and national at the same time. It is the poetry of exiles who have had to leave their nations, of diasporic and indigenous communities marginalized in First World nations. Some of it is written in English; some of it is translated to English. Postcolonial poetry is essentially the poetry of the rest of the world.

This course aims to explore the range and variety of postcolonial poetry written around the world, how it expresses protest and resistance, celebration and affirmation, authenticity and reconciliation.  We will also attempt to understand the nature of postcolonial poetic sensibility; to probe how poetry renders the postcolonial experience, and how it expresses a variety of perspectives on social, cultural and political issues. 

Poets to be discussed are Rabindranath Tagore, Derek Walcott, Lorna Goodison, Kishwar Naheed, Mahmoud Darwish, Saadi Youssef, Fadwa Tuqan, Rajab Buhwaish, Natalie Diaz, among others. 


This course satisfies the following CURRENT English major/minor requirement: Identity & Difference, Poetry

This course satisfies the following NEW English major/minor requirements: Foundations & Methods (300/400-level), Time: Contemporary / Modern, Regions: Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands


Course Requirements:

Provisional course requirements are a series of short response papers (2-3 pages); 3 longer papers (7-8 pages), and a final research/creative project (10-12 pages). Regular participation in lectures and discussion is essential to this course.

Intended Audience:

This course is accessible to all undergraduate students at all levels. An interest in poetry and literature in general will make this course much more enjoyable, as well as interest in global politics and contemporary history.


ENGLISH 340 - Studies in Poetry
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
Tu 4:00PM - 7:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

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