Your feedback is important to us
Please take two minutes at the end of your visit to help us improve our information and services.
Skip to content The Open University

  1. Study at the OU
  2. Research degrees
  3. Research areas
  4. English
  5. Postcolonial literatures

Postcolonial literatures

On this page
An image to illustrate studying postcolonial literatures with The Open University

Housed within the Department of English, the Postcolonial Literatures Research Group has an international reputation in postcolonial literatures, broadly conceived as including literary works representing colonial and neo-colonial experience. Particular specialisms include the literatures of South Asia, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Britain and West Africa. The group has been involved in three major externally funded projects – The Postcolonial History of the Book, The Indian Ocean: Narratives of Literature and Law, and Making Britain: South Asian Visions of Home and Abroad, 1870–1950. It also hosts the Arts Council-funded magazine of contemporary writing, Wasafiri. Members of the group, including our postgraduate students, organise regular conferences, seminar series and workshops both in Milton Keynes and the Institute of English Studies, London. Recent series have included ‘Biography, its Subjects and Sources, from Montaigne to Mandela’ and ‘Romanticism and Postcolonialism’.

We welcome applications in areas which correspond with current staff research interests. We look for detailed proposals, which set out specific research questions and outline the originality of your topic or approach. If you would like to discuss your ideas informally before submitting an application, please contact the department.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) and an MA (or equivalent)

Current / recent research projects

  • ‘Making Memory Work: Performing and Inscribing AIDS in post-TRC Africa’ (Jenny Doubt)
  • ‘Heroines in Contemporary Black Bildungsroman’ (Ole Birk Laursen)
  • ‘Women and Partition: Indian and Pakistani Novels of the Mid to late 20th Century’ (Richard Lee)
  • ‘Close to the Edge: Containment and Contagion at the Frontier of Empire, 1839–1939’ (Shane Malhotra)

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
+44 (0)1908 652092

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under ‘Your questions’ on the right of the page.