Undergraduate prospectus

Course Information

English in World Literatures: Postcolonial and Transnational Writing

Module summary

Module code: COML1062
Level: 6
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Humanities and Social Sciences
Module Coordinator(s): Justine Baillie


Pre and co requisites



• facilitate students’ application of advanced skills in reading, critical thinking and argument to key aspects of contemporary literary study.
• develop and expand students’ understanding of the ways in which writers and readers move across and between national and cultural borders in an increasingly globalized world.
• facilitate the development of advanced critical abilities in the analysis of literary texts.
• enable students to develop advanced skills in academic argument, essay writing, research, and bibliographic skills.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 Understand how national and cultural identities are constructed through language, literature and performance
2 Demonstrate knowledge of theoretical approaches in relation to canonicity, world literatures, varieties of English and the reception, and postcolonial appropriation and production of texts
3 Consider the ways in which texts may transcend national boundaries
4 Use relevant interpretive strategies to provide close readings of world literatures
5 Trace relevant thematic, formal and theoretical relations between the texts studied on the course
6 Demonstrate enhanced skills of essay construction, argument and research.

Indicative content

The course examines the ways in which literature has developed in response to developments in thinking about gender, the end of colonialism and globalization. We begin with a consideration of the contexts of colonialism and the significance of postcolonial appropriation of canonical texts for the formation of identities. We then move on to analyze broader theories relating to world literatures and the examination of identity is extended in the study of contemporary texts. Key themes include travel, diaspora, decolonization, borders and borderlessness, ecology, language, memory and the role of the transnational artist. The course ends with a consideration of transnationalism in literary studies and aims to facilitate critical thinking about globalization, gender and literary representation.

Teaching and learning activity

There will be a lecture followed by a seminar. The teaching in seminars will focus on students developing their close reading, critical and oral presentation skills in relation to the themes and learning outcomes of the course.


Essay Draft 1 - 10% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcomes 1 - 6.
Essay draft or detailed plan on two or more course texts.

Essay Draft 2 - 10% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcomes 1 - 6.
Essay draft or detailed plan on two or more course texts.

Portfolio 80% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcomes 1 - 6.
Portfolio containing the two previously submitted essay draft /plans, having been developed into full essays in the light of tutor feedback.

Students are not required to pass all components in order to pass the course.