Starting from the premise that there is no such thing as a "pure" culture, we will nonetheless try to understand what it means to belong to a particular culture. Questions of identity are frequently at the heart of good literature, and the group of works which has been classified as "postcolonial" is no exception. As we read a selection of works from the colonial and postcolonial worlds, we will explore the writers' and our own answers to key questions of identity. What does it mean to "belong" to a culture, nation, ethnicity, community or family? What kinds of identity are possible in contexts where a colonizing power has undermined traditional affiliations? We will read short stories and novels, as well as works of theory relevant to the other course readings.