Writing Post-Colonial London

Course Dates: 21/09/21 - 09/11/21
Time: 19:45 - 21:30
Location: Online
Migration from once-colonised countries to the old imperial centre has transformed London demographically and culturally. This course offers an opportunity to critically read a selection of novels, poetry and cinema written by writers and filmmakers of migrant and diaspora heritage that examine life in contemporary multicultural and postcolonial London. We will be focusing on how this select body of work interrogates legacies of colonialism, racism and socio-economic inequality as well as offering a creative space for investigating London’s place as a multicultural metropolis.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £91.00

Course Code: HLT249

Tue, eve, 21 Sep - 09 Nov '21

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This online literature course will introduce students to a range of important literary and cinematic texts that explore different facets of life in contemporary multicultural London. It begins by contextualising this cultural production within the migration of people to London during the latter half of the twentieth century and concludes by bringing students up to date with recent literary texts that examine life in the city in the wake of Brexit, and the politics of migration and terrorism. We will discuss contextual issues arising from each text alongside a cultural history of London, relating to topics such as the Windrush Generation (Sam Selvon), employment, housing, gender and racial inequalities (Buchi Emecheta), politics and protest (Linton Kwesi Johnson, Grace Nichols), labour migration (Jerzy Skolimowski), Thatcherism, the New Right and sexual politics (Hanif Kureishi), multiculturalism and suburbs (Zadie Smith) and Islamophobia, multiculturalism and post-9/11 London (Guy Gunaratne). While sometimes engaging with difficult subject matter, we will also be attending to the ways that migration has given rise to new formal and aesthetic modes of culturally representing London as a postcolonial and global city.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

Each week, we will discuss topics that emerge from our key texts.

Week 1:
- Introduction to the course; In class, we will discuss the introduction to Sukhdev Sandhu’s London Calling: How Black and Asian Writers Imagined a City (2003) which will be available as a PDF, sent by the tutor.
Week 2:
- Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (1956)
Week 3:
- Buchi Emecheta, Second Class Citizen (1974)
Week 4:
- Linton Kwesi Johnson, Selected Poems (provided by the course tutor)
- Grace Nichols, Selected Poems (provided by the course tutor)
Week 5:
- Jerzy Skolimowski (dir.), Moonlighting (1982)
Week 6:
- Stephen Frears (dir.), My Beautiful Laundrette (1986); written by Hanif Kureishi
Week 7:
- Zadie Smith, NW (2012)
Week 8:
- Guy Gunaratne, In Our Mad and Furious City (2018).

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

-Be able to critically evaluate and analyse the texts we study on the course
-Be able to engage with postcolonial, migrant and diaspora writing in English from a range of different perspectives, such as aesthetic, social and political viewpoints
-Have a critical, analytical understanding of key concepts and debates in British postcolonial, migrant and diaspora literature during the twentieth and twenty-first century
-Have a critical, analytical understanding of key concepts and debates in cultural depictions of urban spaces through factors such as the figure of the flaneur and theories of space and place
-To consider how different forms of migration (labour, forced migration, refugee experiences) impact literary
depictions of London.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Studying literature before is not a pre-requisite, though you will have an interest in reading and discussing literature. Some of the topics addressed are sensitive and so a willingness to engage with the readings and listen respectfully to the views of fellow students will be essential.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Each class will feature a short power point presentation, followed by large and small group work and discussion. Work outside class is generally doing the readings set by the tutor each week.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please buy or borrow the following texts:

- Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (Penguin Modern Classics,1956)
- Buchi Emecheta, Second Class Citizen (Heinemann,1974)
- Zadie Smith, NW (Penguin, 2012)
- Guy Gunaratne, In Our Mad and Furious City (Tinder Press, 2018)
- Jerzy Skolimowski (dir.), Moonlighting (1982)
- Stephen Frears (dir.), My Beautiful Laundrette (1986); written by Hanif Kureishi
Poetry by Grace Nichols and Linton Kwesi Johnson will be provided by the tutor.

You will need to watch the following films, which can be bought, rented or streamed. We will also watch clips in class:
- Jerzy Skolimowski (dir.), Moonlighting (1982) – available on Prime Video
- Stephen Frears (dir.), My Beautiful Laundrette (1986); written by Hanif Kureishi – available on Prime Video.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Look for other literature courses under History, Culture and Writing/Literature at www.citylit.ac.uk.

Peter Cherry

Peter Cherry has taught literature at undergraduate level at the University of Edinburgh and at postgraduate level at Bilkent University in Turkey, where he worked as Assistant Professor in World Literature between 2018-2021, offering courses on migration, gender and sexuality in modern fiction, literature and cinema, travel writing and the graphic novel. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Edinburgh and is the author of the forthcoming book Muslim Masculinities: Transcultural Identity and Migration in Britain (IB Tauris/Bloomsbury, 2021). He has also written a chapter for the volume Turkish Literature as World Literature (Bloomsbury, 2021) and has written articles on different aspects of gender, sexuality, travel and migration in literature and cinema.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.