1 March 2022
Straight after lessons on the past few Mondays, students and staff have gathered in one of the English classrooms for talks from Dr Whitehead on the subject of postcolonial literature and the opportunity to discuss a range of challenging issues.
For the first talk in the series, Dr Whitehead was ably supported by Upper Sixth Formers Milly and Sophie, both studying English at A Level. They gave an excellent presentation outlining the themes and different ideas in postcolonial writing and how it challenges perspectives on power, gender and race.
In subsequent talks, Dr Whitehead focused on the work of Thomas Hardy and the way Hardy replied to imperialist ideology in his poetry, almost seeing his own culture in a postcolonial way; John Ruskin’s writing on Turner’s painting, Slave Ship; and an introduction to the poetry of St Lucian poet Derek Walcott, whose poems, such as Ruins of a Great House, reveal a dialogue between his African and English heritage and Jamaican culture.
In the next few weeks, Dr Whitehead will be looking at the work of Andrea Levy and Michael Ondaatje, among others, which will no doubt provoke further discussion and stimulate thinking about the world in fresh and interesting new ways.