Empire and Multiculturalism

Engelsk A/B

Through a wide selection of fiction, essays, political texts, poetry, film and non-fiction writing this module examines the literatures, cultures and values of Britain in the period of transition from global empire to modern multicultural society. The module traces the background of multicultural Britain to the mindset and expressions of British empirialism (MacCauley, Kipling and Orwell) and explores the attitudes of later postcolonial writers like John Agard, Kushwant Sing and Salman Rushdie. In addition, the module will discuss concepts like hybridity and postcolonial identities. Finally the module maps the spread of English as a global language and the development of new variations of what linguist David Crystal has termed “the most succesful language in the world.

Primary materials

Finnerup; Fog, Worlds of English (Systime, 2005) is the mainstay of this module. (WOE)

Thomas MacCauley, Minute on Education (excerpt, 1835 (copy)
Rudyard Kipling, The White Man’s Burden (Poem) (WOE)
George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant (Essay) (Copy))
John Agard, Listen Mr Oxford Don (Poem) (WOE)
Kushwant Singh, Karma (short story) (WOE)
Salman Rushdie, Step across this line (Essay – London Migrant City (Copy))
Thandie Newton, Embracing Otherness, Embracing Myself (Ted Talk)

Secondary Materials

Sections on Language British, American and Global English (WOE)
How to read post-colonial fiction (English – Global Language, Global Anguish (Copy))
Anonymous, God Save the Queen (British National Anthem)
Oral assignment on Peter Oborne, A Royal Salute to the Commonwealth
Bend it like Beckham (Film, 2001)