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Information Resources and Services for:
ENG 281: Postcolonial Literatures

Fall 2010
This guide will help you find biographical information about author and also contextual information about places or time periods. This guide contains many excellent resources, but it is not comprehensive. If you're not finding what you're looking for, don't hesitate to contact Anna or stop by the reference desk.

Never underestimate the power of browsing - if you find a book on the shelf that is useful for your topic, look around at its neighbors. Books are arranged by subject, so chances are you'll find other books nearby that will also be useful!

Professor: Elizabeth Baer
Librarian: Anna Hulseberg

Table of Contents:

Finding Books
  • MnPALS Plus
    The online catalog to the library at Gustavus Adolphus College. Choose "All Libraries" in the search options to search other MnPALS libraries (such as Minnesota State schools) and request books through Interlibrary Loan. View our MnPALS Plus tutorial.
  • WorldCat
    Includes over 40 million bibliographic records representing cataloged resources in 400 languages owned by libraries around the world. Materials date back to the 11th century. Owning libraries can be identified for books, journals, archival resources and electronic resources. Access to WorldCat is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM); the database can also be searched through its free web interface, at
    1000 CE-present; updated daily
Reference Books
Reference books are helpful at a number of steps during your research. They define unfamiliar terms, give an overview of a topic, and often provide recommendations for further reading. The reference books listed below are all found on the main floor of the library.
  • General Sources
    • Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies
      Greenwood Press 2001
      More than 150 alphabetically arranged entries by expert contributors overview and assess the effects of globalization on literary and cultural studies in the 21st century. Emphasizes the common heritage of resistance in francophone, hispanophone, and other literatures, including the literatures of nonEuropean postimperial states.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 849 .U43 E53 2001
    • Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English
      London: Routledge 1994
      Offers articles on writers, genres by nationality or region, and topics such as "censorship." Entries were compiled by an international group of specialists and are intended to cover literatures in English from parts of the world influenced by imperialism from the moment of colonization to the present. Many of the writers covered are not profiled in other reference works.
      • Location(s): Ref PR 9080 .A52 E53 1994
  • Biographical Sources
    Use these reference books to find biographical information on your author.
    • African Writers
      New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1997
      This 2-volume set includes essays on 65 authors who were born or lived a great deal of their life in Africa. Includes chronology of African history and literature. Includes references.
      • Location(s): Ref PL 8010 .A453 1996
    • Companion to African Literatures
      Indiana University Press 2000
      The entries´┐Żauthors, titles, and selected thematic subjects´┐Żare in one alphabetical sequence. A list of themes and topics, subdivided by geographic regions, is provided.
      • Location(s): Ref PR 9340 .C65 2000
    • Encyclopedia of African Literature
      London: Routledge 2003
      Provides almost 700 entries on writers, major historical and cultural issues concerning the study of African literature, and the theoretical and cultural issues that have affected its interpretation. Includes references.
      • Location(s): Ref PL 8010 .E63 2003
    • Encyclopedia of Caribbean Literature
      Westport, CT: Greenwood Press 2006
      Alphabetical entries on authors and topics related to anglophone, Dutch, francophone and Hispanic Caribbean literature. Each is followed by a brief multi-lingual bibliography.
      • Location(s): Ref PN849. C3 E53 2006 (2 vols.)
    • Irish Playwrights, 1880-1995
      Greenwood Press 1997
      Covers 32 major and minor playwrights throughout the century.
      • Location(s): Ref PR 8789 .I67 1997
    • Oxford Companion to Irish Literature
      Clarendon Press 1996
      Entries cover writers, titles of major works, literary genres and motifs, folklore, mythology, periodicals, associations, and historical figures and events. Since Ireland's literature is inextricably intertwined with its religious and political differences, articles on Catholicism, Protestantism, Northern Ireland, the IRA, and Sinn Fein appear along with entries on literary subjects such as Big House, Metrics, and Stage-Irishman.
      • Location(s): Ref PR 8706 .O88 1996
    • Postcolonial African Writers : A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook
      Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press
      Include over 50 bio-bibliographical and critical essays on writers from African countries, primarily writing in English and French. Includes references.
      • Location(s): General Collection PL 8010 .P585 1998
    • South African Writers
      Gale Group 2000
      Part of the "Dictionary of Literary Biography" series.
      • Location(s): Ref PS 221 .A5 v.225
  • Contextual Sources
    These reference books will give you a glimpse of your author's historical context.
    • Atlas of Irish History
      Routledge 2005
      Over 100 maps, charts and graphs. An Atlas of Irish History covers the main political, military, economic, religious and social changes that have occurred in Ireland.
      • Location(s): Ref G 1831 .S1 E3 2005
    • Encyclopedia of African History and Culture
      New York: Facts on File 2005
      Each volume covers a different period in African history, from ancient times to independence. Within each volume brief articles cover countries, ethnic groups, important historical figures, events, and concepts. For each volume, there are maps and chronologies for the period covered. Both North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa are included in coverage.
      • Location(s): Ref DT 3 .P27 2005
    • Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures
      New York: Routledge 2000
      Includes entries on cultural topics such as architecture, cinema, food and drink, the media, music, politics, and religion, as well as biographical sketches of important cultural figures.
      • Location(s): Ref F1406.E515 2000 (3 vols.)
    • Encyclopedia of India
      Thomson Gale 2006
      This encyclopedia includes 580 articles written by 200 scholars, selected from many countries. The subjects include art, contemporary facts, culture, history, geography, economics, defense, human rights, industrial growth, the judicial system, education, medical science, nuclear programs, politics, religion, secularism, theater, trade, and women.
      • Location(s): Ref DS 405 .E556 2006
    • Encyclopedia of Ireland: An A-Z Guide to its People, Places, History, and Culture
      Oxford University Press 2000
      Entertainment, culture, sports, geography, history, and politics.
      • Location(s): Ref DA 906 .E53 2000
    • New Encyclopedia of Africa
      New York: Scribner's 2008
      Covers the peoples, civilizations, and history of Africa. Articles cover countries, individuals, ethnic groups, and many topics such as African art, transportation, gender, ecosystems, symbolism, and religion.
      • Location(s): Ref DT2 .N48 2008
Finding Articles
If you have an article citation and can't find the full text in a database, use the Journal Locator to see if Gustavus owns a print copy of the article OR if it is available through another database. Be sure to search the Journal Locator with the title of the journal, not the article title.
  • Academic Search Premier
    The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database, Academic Search Premier indexes nearly 8,050 publications and provides full text for nearly 4,600, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage also includes many newspapers and popular magazines and spans virtually every area of academic study since 1975. Updated daily. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM). View our Academic Search Premier tutorial.
    1975-present; updated daily
    Full-text backfiles to over 350 scholarly journals from more than 25 academic disciplines published between the 19th and 21st centuries in the JSTOR Arts & Sciences I, Arts & Sciences II, and Language & Literature collections. JSTOR provides complete journal backruns from the date of initial publication up to a "moving wall" of 3 to 5 years before the present year. To limit your search to full text articles, make sure that the option to "include links to external content" is turned off.
    1831-recent years
  • MLA International Bibliography
    The major research resource for information on English literature, foreign languages and linguistics. Includes references to scholarly articles, books, book chapters, book reviews, and dissertations; coverage dates back to the 1920's.
    1923-present; updated 9 times yearly
Relevant Journals
  • Jouvert
    Available from vol. 1 - present.
Other Library Resources
  • Assignment Calculator
    The Assignment Calculator can help you stay on track as you research and write an assignment. Just enter your start date and due date, and the Assignment Calculator will suggest tips and deadlines for completing the steps of the research and writing process. Based on the original Assignment Calculator from the University of Minnesota.
  • Interlibrary Loan
    Use Interlibrary Loan to request books and articles that Gustavus doesn't own.
  • RefWorks
    Note: The library will discontinue our RefWorks subscription after spring semester 2012. Our RefWorks-account holders will receive details in early spring. RefWorks is a citation management program. To use it, create a personal account, then download or enter citations. You can print your citations in a wide variety of styles. Learn more about RefWorks.
Contacting Anna
I'm happy to meet with you at any time to chat about your research. I can suggest additional sources, advanced search techniques, and troubleshoot problems you may encounter. Email me at or call x7566.

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