• East-West encounters and "intra-East" cultural negotiations in history and literary presentations
  • Gender and feminist criticism
  • The language of cross-cultural studies
  • The nature of adaptation
  • Colonial discourse and postcolonial criticism
  • Theoretical bases include Gayatri Spivak's "Can the Subaltern Speak?"; Stuart Hall's "The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power"; and selected readings from Edward Said's Orientalism




Building on work done in junior courses on literary criticism, it is hoped that you will consider, analyse, and understand how the East has been represented in various literary forms; how representations of female Asian (and western) characters have changed over time and in critical discourse (the latter often influencing the former); and, how geographical and historical contexts influence adaptations. You will also gain an understanding of multi-modality (music, drama, short fiction), colonial discourse analysis, and postcolonial criticism.




The course consists of three contact hours per week (Mondays 14:30 - 17:20). There will be a 2-hour lecture (14:30-16:20) which will include the viewing of some excerpts from films. You will also be expected to watch all the films in your own time. The third hour will be for in-class writing assignments, tutorials, close-readings, and textual analysis. There will also be a significant amount of reading to do outside class time, including both primary and critical texts.




Assessment will be continuous and based 100% on coursework.

Two in-class writing assignments (20% each)


Research/analysis paper





The course texts are listed above. Lim's novel (Joss and Gold) must be purchased. All other texts are freely available online (except for the stage play of M. Butterfly, which is optional; the screenplay is available online). Excerpts from the films of the opera of Madama Butterfly, Miss Saigon, and M. Butterfly will be shown in class but students should plan to watch the entire films outside class-time. A list of supplementary texts will be distributed in the first week of class. The original text of the short story of Madam Butterfly, by Long, will be available (free) in Moodle before the start of the semester and all registered students are expected to have read it before the course begins. If you have not registered (and therefore do not have access to Moodle), please email the instructor ( and I will send you a copy. Spivak's "Can the Subaltern Speak?" is available in JSTOR. Hall's "The West and the Rest" is online ( Excerpts from Said's Orientalism will be provided.



Last updated: 19 July 2017