This is a reading list for students of English who wish to get an initial overview of important texts in postcolonial, transnational and transcultural studies, and some guidelines for their own reading. However, this is neither an ‘official canon’ nor compulsory reading: Our seminars and exams do not necessarily refer to all these texts regularly, and often use other important texts which are not on this list.
The list consists of a general, theoretical section and 13 regional or national sections.
The regional or national classifications should not be understood as ‘absolute’ – they are often problematic (after all, many of these texts are transnational and transcultural), and are only used here to give a rough orientation.
At the core of each regional or national section, we have listed c.10 major authors, usually with one of their literary works, sometimes (e.g. in the case of poets) also with collections.
We have also listed some anthologies.
In addition to reading literary primary sources, students should familiarise themselves with the contexts that surround these works, e.g. with regard to social and political history, contemporary society, literary history and other cultural phenomena. For these as well, we list some books that can give introductory overviews – but again, these should not be understood as the most canonic, most central or most recent sources for each context: they only represent potential starting points for students’ own investigations.
Titles in bold type are ‘classical’ texts which are often considered to be even more important than the other texts in the respective section; and thus are particularly useful points of entry for students beginning to explore this field.
North Africa and Middle East
New Zealand and the Pacific region
Black and Asian British literature
Mexican American and Chicano/Chicana literature