Recent efforts to diversify and decentre the literary canon taught at universities have been moderately successful. Yet this expansion of our reading lists is only the start of a broader decolonization of literary studies as a discipline; there is much left to be done. How can students and educators best participate in this urgent intellectual and political project?
Anna Bernard argues that the decolonization of literary studies requires a change to not only what, but how, we read. In lively prose, she explores work that has already been done, both within and beyond the academy, and challenges readers to think about where we go from here. She suggests ways to recognize and respond to the political work that texts do, considering questions of language and translation, comparative reading, ideological argument, and genre in relation to the history of anticolonial struggle. Above all, Bernard shows that although we still have far to go, the work of decolonizing literary studies is already under way.
Decolonizing Literature is a must-have resource for all those concerned by the development and future of the field.
Anna Bernard (King's College London)
Country of Publication:
Series: Decolonizing the Curriculum
Publication Date: 10 August 2023
Professional and scholarly
Acknowledgements Introduction 1 Decolonization and Literature: A History 2 Unfinished Business: How Do We Decolonize Literature? 3 Language and Translation: What Is ‘English’ Literature? 4 ‘A Comparative Literature of Imperialism’: Reading Colonial and Anticolonial Texts Together 5 Telling a Collective Story: Literature and Anticolonial Struggle 6 Decolonizing Genre: Anticolonial Understandings of Literary Craft Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index
Anna Bernard is Reader in Comparative Literature and English at King’s College London.
Reviews for Decolonizing Literature: An Introduction
"""Decolonizing Literature is the book we need today. Reminding us of the transformative possibilities of politicized literary criticism, Anna Bernard is continuing the legacy of Edward Said, Barbara Harlow, and Benita Parry by helping us imagine ourselves into different futures."" Anthony C. Alessandrini, Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York"