• April 15, 2022
  • Maddox Smith
  • 0


We are delighted to welcome you to ENG2603. This module is blended, which means we use a
combination of printed and online material to engage with you. We hope it will start you on a
long and fulfilling relationship with Colonial and Postcolonial African literature. Because we
believe that in South Africa in the twenty-first century it is essential to come to terms with and to
value the literature of our continent against our own background, we have selected books by
well-known writers from South Africa, Zimbabwe and the United States of America. You are
required to study all of them, and we are sure that you will benefit from the variety of

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The topics we have chosen to highlight include such fascinating questions as the nature of
identity, the importance of encounters, for the individual as he or she changes throughout life,
and the significance of community for a person. You may well want to suggest other topics, or
to critique aspects of this course. Please do so! We depend on your feedback.
NB. You are required to read all the Units of the Tutorial Letter 501, to gain an overview of
the issues which are relevant to all the texts in the module. It is also vital that you work
through the suggested activities for the prescribed texts.

What study material do we supply?

• Tutorial Letter 101 (this document): contains your scheme of work, resources,
assignments and other useful material. Please consult Study @ Unisa for advice on how
to study as an ODeL student. We know that this can be difficult, and we are sympathetic
since many of us have also gained our qualifications as part-time or distance learning
students. You will also get:
• Tutorial Letter 301.
• Tutorial Letter 501.
• Feedback tutorial letters.
These study materials will be available on myUnisa for you to download. Only the Tutorial
Letter 501 will be printed and posted. We encourage you to access the Tutorial Letter 501
online while you wait.

NB. You will find that myUnisa and regular use of the Internet are essential, especially in the
twenty-first century.

You must be registered on myUnisa to be able to submit assignments, gain access to the
Library functions and various learning resources, download study material, “chat” to your
lecturers and fellow students about your studies and the challenges you may encounter, and
participate in online discussion forums.

Do not forget that myUnisa provides you with additional opportunities to take part in activities
and discussions of relevance to your module topics, assignments, marks and examinations.

2.1 Purpose

This module builds on the first-level English Studies when taken in conjunction with the module
‘Foundations in English Literary Studies’ (ENG1501).
Over the course of this module we want you to remember that the concept “Colonial and
Postcolonial African literature” is itself controversial. However, this paragraph is not the space to
explore the ways in which the notion of Africa has been invented and constructed. You should
consider this module as merely an Introduction. Since this is a second-level module, you are
expected to engage actively in making meaning and building knowledge. You can do this by
investigating the multiple connections between what is “Colonial” and what is “Postcolonial” in
the texts. Furthermore, you will be requested to question the very thinking behind the
chronology suggested in the terms “colonial and postcolonial.” Our aim is to motivate you to
read the texts we have selected for you with an open mind. We have set four critical outcomes
that we believe you should be able to achieve by the end of studying the module, Colonial and
Postcolonial African Literatures. Read through these outcomes and focus on mastering the
skills that they emphasise

2.2 Outcomes
Outcome 1:

Students critically read a wide range of texts in different genres (fiction, auto/biography, poetry
and drama) with comprehension and critical engagement at this intermediate level.
Outcome 2:
Students write well-structured paragraphs and essays that critically discuss the creative choices
made by writers of the chosen texts. Your essay should contain an introduction that outlines
what you want to argue and how you want to organise your ideas.

Outcome 3:

Students explain how the politics of representation shapes literary texts and their reception in
postcolonial contexts. Students are encouraged to think beyond the intended meanings of the
text. As developing critics, students are also expected to come up with new meanings of texts
that relate to students’ lived experiences.

Outcome 4:

Students can employ the key concepts and debates in postcolonial literary theory. In order to
answer the assignment questions and examination questions insightfully, students must
demonstrate that they have understood concepts in particular contexts. This often means
mastering the critical vocabulary of the module and using these words to explain the complexity
of the texts.


Unisa has implemented a transformation charter based on five pillars and eight dimensions. In response
to this charter, we have placed curriculum transformation high on the teaching and learning agenda.
Curriculum transformation includes the following pillars: student-centred scholarship, the pedagogical
renewal of teaching and assessment practices, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and the infusion
of African epistemologies and philosophies. These pillars and their principles will be integrated at both
programme and module levels as a phased-in approach. You will notice a marked change in the
teaching and learning strategy implemented by Unisa, together with how the content is conceptualised in
your modules. We encourage you to embrace these changes during your studies at Unisa in a
responsive way within the framework of transformation.


4.3 University
If you need to contact the University about matters not related to the content of this module,
please consult the publication, Study @ Unisa, which you can download from the Unisa
website. This booklet contains information on how to contact the University (e.g. to whom you
can write for different queries, important telephone numbers, addresses and details of the times
certain facilities are open).


6.1 First-Year Experience Programme @ Unisa
For many students, the transition from school education to tertiary education is beset with
anxiety. This is also true for first-time students to Unisa. Unisa is a dedicated open distance and
e-learning institution. Unlike face-to-face/contact institutions, Unisa is somewhat different. It is a
mega university and all our programmes are offered through a blended learning mode or fully
online learning mode. It is for this reason that we thought it necessary to offer first-time students
additional/extended support so that you can seamlessly navigate the Unisa teaching and
learning journey with little difficulty and few barriers. In this regard we offer a specialised student
support programme to students entering Unisa for the first time. We refer to this programme as
Unisa’s First-Year Experience (FYE) Programme. The FYE is designed to provide you with
prompt and helpful information about services that the institution offers and how you can access
information. The following FYE programmes are currently offered:
• FYE website: All the guides and resources you need to navigate through your first year at
Unisa can be accessed using the following link: www.unisa.ac.za/FYE
• FYE e-mails: You will receive regular e-mails to help you stay focused and motivated.
• FYE broadcasts: You will receive e-mails with links to broadcasts on various topics related
to your first-year studies (eg videos on how to submit assignments online).
• FYE mailbox: For assistance with queries related to your first year of study, send an e-mail
to fye@unisa.ac.za


Use the Study @ Unisa brochure for general time management and planning skills.
Before you start working on your assignments, please read the section below very carefully.
How to start answering the questions in your assignments:
The first step to take when you start working on an assignment (or examination) question is to
read the question several times, including the extract from the text, if one is provided. In the
course of such repeated reading, you will be able to decide what exactly it is you need to focus
on when you write the essay or answer the question. The given passage is not just a summary
of the text; the question will ask you to show clearly and in detail how the passage functions in
conveying the main ideas of the text. It is, therefore, a good idea, in your third or fourth reading
of the passage, to annotate the passage by underlining, circling, connecting up with arrows or
indicating in whatever way suits you, what elements in the passage are relevant to the question.
It is also a good idea to consult your novel, play and poems, and find out where exactly this
extract fits into the text of the novel, play or poem as a whole. For example, what comes
immediately before it, and what follows immediately after? It is likely that you will be able to
incorporate this information usefully into your argument.

one very important thing you should keep in mind at all times – avoid at all costs, to simply
retelling the story. Your essay should be a sustained argument that engages all aspects of the
question and should not simply be a summary of the plot.

Writing the essay

Your answer to the assignment must be in the form of an essay, which means that you must not
use subtitles, subsections or bullets, or write down a set of different, unlinked comments.
A formal academic essay for a literary English module is a unitary piece of prose without
subsections, but structured so as to contain an introduction, a “body”, or middle section
containing your answer to the question, and a conclusion (though these must not have
headings). In the introduction, you briefly state what the main point is that you are going to
make, then you develop the argument in the body, and in the conclusion, you briefly restate
your contention. The body of the essay should be made up of a series of linked paragraphs that
follow each other in logical order, and within each paragraph each sentence should logically
lead on to the next.

In order to enable you to write a competent essay in response to an assignment question, it is
essential to draw up a rough plan for your essay, write a draft, and then edit it so that the
argument flows smoothly and every sentence can be easily read and understood. The next step
is to proofread your essay. In this final stage, you correct the structure of your argument, the
language, spelling and punctuation.

An important typographical point

Remember that you should indicate references to the text itself by typing its title in italics, e.g.
Welcome to our Hillbrow or A Raisin in the Sun (or, if you are writing by hand, by underlining the
title). If, in the case of the novel, Mhudi, you are referring to the character, Mhudi, you indicate it
typographically by neither underlining (in handwriting), nor italicizing (in typescript). By adhering
to this typographical convention, you will be able to avoid ambiguity and possible confusion. In
this way, you will be writing correctly.

Please go through this checklist before submitting your assignments:

Make sure you have:
• Focussed on key instructions.
• Avoided simply providing a summary or paraphrasing of the plot.
• Provided clear and well-expressed introductory and concluding paragraphs.
• Presented a clear, well-reasoned and well-supported argument.
• Referenced correctly and completely.
• Provided a list of references (a bibliography).
• Spelled character and place names correctly and consistently.
• Checked carefully to eradicate spelling errors.
• Checked for tense and agreement (concord) errors.
• Used the correct prepositions.
• Used the correct linguistic register.
• Included your declaration on plagiarism.


Maddox Smith

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