The MA Postcolonial Studies Programme offers a focus on the historical relationships of power, domination and practices of imperialism and colonialism in the modern period (late nineteenth-century to the present) through the study of literature and culture.
The core module will introduce a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to the literature, film and media of these areas. A range of literary, filmic and theoretical texts from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Near and Middle East will normally be included in the reading list. These will address representations of colonialism and decolonisation, neo-colonialism, nationalism in postcolonial societies and diasporic experiences, allowing us to explore the heterogeneous meanings, intersections and strategies of analysis that have emerged with reference to postcolonial studies.
Attention will be paid to colonial and postcolonial constructs such as: the Oriental, the Global, the Cosmopolitan, the Third World and the multicultural. The core module of the programme introduces and analyses interdisciplinary theories and ideological practices around a set of historical and current issues from various regions of Asia and Africa. The range of minors offers students more opportunities to explore interdisciplinarity and regional specificities.
Why this programme is special at SOAS
Postcolonial MA Programmes offered in London and other UK institutions are located within the field of English Studies or the Social Sciences. The Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS) is uniquely positioned to offer an inter-disciplinary Postcolonial Studies MA programme which gives students an opportunity to understand and negotiate the field of postcolonial studies with recourse to interdisciplinarity and to theoretical explications from the regions of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. SOAS offers a unique range of regional expertise available amongst the CCLPS’s faculty membership. The Programme also offers a timely intervention at a time when there is a national and international crisis in the understanding of multiculturalism, race relations and religious and national affiliations.
MA Post Colonial Studies graduates gain competency in intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the subject wiill be developed through the study of literature, film and media of these areas. Graduates leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector. These include:written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; analytical and problem-solving skills; and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.
Six of the academic departments are devoted to teaching and research in the languages, literatures and cultures of Africa, China and Inner Asia, Japan and Korea, the Near and Middle East, South Asia, and South East Asia, with the seventh teaching and conducting research in Linguistics. The Language Centre caters to the needs of non-degree students and governmental and non-governmental organisations. It maintains a huge portfolio of courses, including year-long diploma programmes, weekly evening classes in about 40 different African and Asian languages, and tailored intensive one-to-one courses. The Language Centre also offers courses in French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Their teaching is in three main areas: - language competence acquisition; - textual and cultural studies - both comparative and language-specific, and covering not only 'literature' in a strict sense but also visual media, performance, folklore, translation etc.; - language studies with linguistics at its core - including the prestigious Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project.
While SOAS as a whole represents the most substantial concentration in the Western world of expertise dedicated to African, Middle Eastern and Asian studies, the Faculty of Languages and Cultures is heavily committed to teaching and research grounded in a knowledge of the principal languages and cultures of two thirds of humankind.