Spring 2023 - ENGL 439W D200

Seminar in World Literatures in English (4)

Class Number: 7718

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Thu, 4:30–8:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units or two 300-division English courses.



Advanced seminar in literary works in English, mainly from regions other than Canada, Britain and the United States. The course may focus on one or several literatures or individual authors, and will be organized according to specific critical methodologies. This course may be repeated for credit if a different topic is taught. Writing.


Historian Cedric Robinson is most often credited with introducing the term “racial capitalism” to describe the fundamentally racial nature of capitalism’s logics. What is less well-known is that the term was originally coined to describe the specific case of South African settler colonialism that was eventually codified as apartheid. The end of apartheid in 1994, however, did not end this system of exploitation; instead, South Africa remains a unique site in which new forms of capital accumulation and subjection continue to be articulated and developed.

In this course we will turn to South African literature from the late- and post-apartheid eras to investigate how the relationship between race and capitalism has evolved, and how it has been negotiated by a range of writers. How have ideas of race and forms of capital accumulation transformed alongside the country’s history? How have South African writers responded to the demands of activist writing? How has the “freedom” on offer after the end of apartheid shaped the kinds of narratives, voices, and forms produced by some of South Africa’s most prominent writers?


  • participation 15%
  • seminar presentation and critical reflection (3-5 pages) 30%
  • weekly discussion prompt (approx. 50-100 words per submission) 10%
  • essay workshop 10%
  • final essay (12-15 pages) 35%



Mongane Serote - To Every Birth Its Blood

JM Coetzee - Life and Times of Michael K

Antjie Krog - Country of My Skull

Zoë Wicomb - David’s Story

Phaswane Mpe – Welcome to Our Hillbrow

A selection of contemporary poetry, short stories and critical essays.


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Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html