(Post)Colonial society, culture, and literature

Credit points: 6
Contact hours: 60
Type: P, S

Main Instructor

dr. Nike Kocijančič Pokorn, Full Professor

Course Description

Objectives and competences

  • Awareness of the complexity of the notion of culture and that of the culture of (post)colonial societies;
  • Awareness of the plurality of (post)colonial cultural environment through historical developments;
  • Awareness of the similarities and differences between the Slovene social system and that of a selected post-colonial country;
  • Ability to understand how (post)colonial literature in English contributed to the shaping of social, political, and cultural factors of modern post-colonial countries;
  • Ability to recognise important works from selected post-colonial countries
  • Ability to participate in informed discussions about relevant issues in the arena of modern post-colonial literature and societies;
  • Awareness of the various aspects of the selected English-speaking societies (e.g., political system, education, religion, culture, holidays, customs and leisure-time activities). 

Content (syllabus outline)

(Post)Colonial Literatures in English: This course focuses on prose, poetry, and drama in the English language produced by Irish, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Caribbean, Indian and African writers. Included amongst our topics of study will be works by familiar names like Jonathan Smith, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Catherine Mansfield, John McRae, Andrew Barton Paterson, E. M. Forster, George Orwell, Rabindranath Tagore, and Chinua Achebe. But our attention will focus also on contemporary writers who have won critical and popular attention, writers such as Seamus Heaney, A. M. Klein, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Patrick White, Les Murray, Fleur Adcock, Keri Hulme, Anita Desai, Salman Rushdie, Jean Rhys, Louise Bennett, Derek Walcott, V. S. Naipaul, Wole Soyinka, Buchi Emecheta, Ben Okri, Doris Lessing, Nadine Gordimer, and J. M. Coetzee. We will consider these writers and their work in light of present-day cultural concerns in particular the place of the specific use of the English language and post-colonialism.

Postcolonial Societies and Cultures: Introduction; An overview of the English-speaking postcolonial world; Canada: Introduction, An overview of the regions, The political system, Linguistic situation; Ethnic groups; Australia:  Introduction, An overview of the regions, The political system, Linguistic situation; Ethnic groups; New Zealand: Introduction, The political system, Linguistic situation; Ethnic groups; Ireland: Introduction, The political system, Linguistic situation; Ethnic groups; India; South Africa; the Caribbean; Postcolonial Africa;  Postcolonial Asia; Malta, Gibraltar, Cyprus, the Pacific.


  1. Pokorn, Nike K. (Post)Colonial Literatures in English: A Reader – skripta.
  2. Agnes Pisanski Peterlin. Postkolonialne družbe in kulture – skripta.

Študentje in študentke morajo prebrati najmanj 7 besedil, navedenih v predpisanem seznamu čtiva, ki ga slušateljicam in slušateljem posreduje izvajalec oz. izvajalka predmeta. / For their home reading students have to select at least 7 works from the reading list provided by the lecturer. 


Enrollment in the third academic year of Interlingual Communication.


The final grade consists of the average from the two subjects ((Post)Colonial Literatures in English & Postcolonial Societies and cultures). To pass, students must get a positive grade in both subjects.

Student responsibilities at both subjects:

  • Postcolonial Societies and Cultures: seminar paper, exam (covering British society and culture, American society and culture, Post-Colonial societies and cultures), (50% of the final grade);
  • (Post)Colonial Literatures in English: seminar paper, home reading, i.e. at least 7 works from the reading list provided by the lecturer, exam (covering British literature, American literature, Post-Colonial literatures), (50% of the final grade).

Forms of marking: 6-10 or A-E (positive grade), 1-5 or F (negative grade). The assessment is in line with the Statute of the University of Ljubljana and the examination regulations of the Faculty of Arts.


Nike Kocijančič Pokorn