"Dystopia and Diaspora in Postcolonial Novels" with Dr. Emilija Lipovsek

Course description:

Starting with Empire Windrush sailing in 1948 up to the beginning of the 21st century, the seminar will focus on the span of over sixty years of postcolonial migration to London. The pre-arrival image and expectations originated from the colonial education that glorified the magnitude of the metropolis as it used to be depicted as the centre of culture, liberty, opulence and opportunities. After having lived in London for several years, immigrants’ dreams become shaken and shattered, feeling left on the margins of the British society. Special attention will be paid to discrimination they have experienced in schools and workplaces, police cruelty, underpaid jobs, problems with housing, and differences in culinary traditions and climate in the postcolonial discourse. The seminar will discuss how novels like The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi, The Small Island by Andrea Levy, and Brick Lane by Monica Ali describe characters finding themselves in the liminal space between the desire to acquire ‘Englishness’, and their disappointment and disillusionment, with the emphasis on the first and second generation of immigrants.