Taken literally, “Anglophone literature” refers to literatures written in English; however, in literary studies the term has many inflections, hence the need for a working definition. For the purpose of this examination, we define “Anglophone literature” as literatures in English produced by writers from nations that are former colonies of Britain, excluding the United States. The term “Anglophone" highlights the linguistic commonality of these writings. However, Anglophone literary critical discourse recognizes that the shared historical experience of British colonial rule and contemporary forms of imperialism forge other forms of connectedness of these writings besides the use of English. In addition, the discourse takes into serious account disparate historical, cultural and political contexts within which these literatures are produced. Finally, it should be noted that as a field of study, Anglophone literature has much in common with Commonwealth literature, Postcolonial literature and New Literatures in English.
We will cover writings produced from 1850 to the present, and initially by writers from Anglophone Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean, including those from these areas in postcolonial diasporas.
Students who wish to specialize in the field of Anglophone literature are expected to:
1.Understand the historical development of this field of study.
2. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of major literary writings (primary texts) from all of the Anglophone areas identified above.
3. Be familiar with social, cultural, and historical particularities of the Anglophone areas identified above. For example, students should be conversant with slavery in the Caribbean, the partition of India, independence movements in Anglophone Africa, apartheid in South Africa, and postcolonial migrations.
4. Be familiar with critical theories that have been used to interpret Anglophone literature and be able to apply insights gained to produce theoretically informed analyses of primary texts.
5. Understand transnational and trans-cultural dimensions of Anglophone literature.
Anglophone Africa (This list includes continental African writers in the West)