ENG10230 Reading World Literature

Academic Year 2024/2025

“Texts have ways of existing that even in their most rarefied form are always enmeshed in circumstance, time, place, and society – in short, they are in the world, and hence worldly” – Edward Said.

What does it mean to read literature as ‘worldly,’ and how do world-literary texts shape our understanding of the world? Reading World Literature will explore the category of 'world literature': what it means to read texts in the 'world language' of English; how forms and aesthetics ‘travel’ and change in different cultures and geographies across historical periods; and how literature grapples with world-spanning phenomena such as slavery, empire, resource imperialism, decolonization, and capitalist globalization. Ranging from the gold mines of colonial Africa and South America to the contemporary oilfields of the Niger Delta, this module will investigate writing from multiple periods and geographies, including the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, and Britain, and will feature texts from across literary genres, including novels, autobiographies, poetry, short stories, and travel writing. Through lectures and tutorials, we will examine both pre-twentieth century canonical texts, and contemporary fictions that ‘write back’ to empire, subvert dominant forms , or invent new modes of representation.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module, students will have developed:
- The ability to analyse passages of literary texts for their aesthetic engagement with global phenomenon including slavery, empire, settler colonialism, resource imperialism, decolonization, and capitalist globalization;
- The acquisition of basic skills in academic research, study, and writing, as well as the confidence to write and speak more confidently on topics relating to works of world literature;
- An awareness of how different kinds of literary texts can be interpreted through a variety of critical lenses, including postcolonial and world-literary theory;
- The ability to use key electronic resources such as online journals, databases, and Brightspace

Indicative Module Content:

Ranging from the gold mines of colonial Africa and South America to the contemporary oilfields of the Niger Delta, this module will investigate writing from multiple periods and geographies, including the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, and Britain, and will feature texts from across literary genres, including novels, autobiographies, poetry, short stories, and travel writing.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities

36

Autonomous Student Learning

42

Lectures

12

Tutorial

10

Total

100

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Teaching is by a weekly lecture and small-group seminar. Lectures will introduce literary, historical and/or theoretical contexts as well as discussion of specific authors and works, while seminars will involve closer discussion of the texts themselves. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade

Not yet recorded.


Carry forward of passed components
Yes
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

The weekly exercises will receive group/class feedback; and individual feedback on the written essays will be given via Brightspace.

Please find a list of the primary texts for this module below, in the order that they are assigned. We recommend you start reading Rider Haggard's novel, King Solomon's Mines, in advance of the first class. Texts that you are responsible for buying yourself, either online or by ordering from a bookshop, are labelled 'to buy'. Please acquire these before the start of term. All other readings will be provided as .pdfs or links on Brightspace, the virtual learning environment for this module.

Primary Texts in Order of Reading:

- Rider Haggard, King Solomon’s Mines (to buy)
- Selected poetry from Thomas Pringle and from Koleka Putuma (.pdfs on Brightspace)
- Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (link on Brightspace) + extracts from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas (on Brightspace)
- Ana Lydia Vega, “Miss Florence’s Trunk: Fragments of a Trash Romance” (.pdf on Brightspace)
- Short stories from Pauline Melville (.pdfs on Brightspace) + extracts from Walter Raleigh’s The Discovery of Guiana (on Brightspace)
- Short stories by Ben Okri and Nnedi Okorafor (.pdfs on Brightspace)
- Mohsin Hamid, Exit West (to buy)
- Selected poetry from Juliana Spahr and Robert Minhinnick (.pdfs on Brightspace)
Name Role
Professor John Brannigan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Sarah Comyn Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Nicholas Daly Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Treasa De Loughry Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Fionnuala Dillane Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Stacy Grouden Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Harriet Hulme Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Naomi McAreavey Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Anne Mulhall Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Deborah Schrijvers Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Maria Stuart Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Nerys Williams Lecturer / Co-Lecturer