ENG32730 Literature of Migration

Academic Year 2022/2023

We are living in a time of mass global displacements and increasingly violent border regimes. In this module, we will focus on fiction, non-fiction, film and media that speaks to these global displacements and what Harsha Walia calls ‘border imperalism’. In particular, we will explore literary engagements with forced migration, asylum regimes and ‘refugee-ness’ with a particular attention to work by writers from the global South and writers living in the diaspora in the global north. Drawing on critical frameworks from postcolonial studies, queer diaspora studies, critical migration studies, border studies, and world-literary criticism, we will explore how these works shed light on the interconnections between contemporary ‘migration crisis’, the global apartheid of the border, and colonialism and its afterlives. The works we look at will span across mediums and genres (fiction, non-fiction, documentary, film, graphic novel, testimony, legal and policy texts and media representation) and forms (realist and ‘irrealist’). We will consider the ways in which literature and cultural work can contribute to emancipatory change.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- Familiarity with literary and cultural representations and narratives of migration and migrancy
- Familiarity with key historical, social, political, cultural and legal frameworks for understanding contemporary migration management and border regimes
- Familiarity with relevant analytical frameworks from postcolonial studies, critical migration studies, queer diaspora studies, world-literary criticism, border theory
- Understanding of the interconnectedness of race, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship/migration status, nationality, geopolitical location (in particular, in shaping systems and experiences of mobility, border regimes, migrancy, ‘home’, etc.)
- Ability to analyse texts with attention to contexts and conceptual frames
- Ability to write an extended essay on a topic related to the module

Indicative Module Content:

Writing studied on this module will include short stories, novels, poetry, memoir, personal essay, and analysis by some of the following:

Mohsin Hamid; Julia Otsuka; Hassan Blasim; Igiaba Scego; Ocean Vuong; Junot Díáz; Rawi Hage; Melatu Okorie; Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe; Kamila Shamsie; Shailja Patel; Yousif Qasmiyeh; Leila Abdelrazaq; Laila Lalami; Valerie Luiselli; Behrouz Boochani; Daniel Trilling; Edward Said; Hannah Arendt; Sally Hayden; Amelia Gentleman; Teju Cole; Viet Thanh Nguyen; Gloria Anzaldúa; Leila Abouela; Direye Osman; Bernardine Evaristo.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Discussion-based seminars with short lecture by coordinator and including discussion questions; student led-discussions; group and individual work including close reading and peer review. 
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
Essay: Final essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Discussion posts - three to be submitted over the course of the trimester. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Assignment: Students can choose between a close reading exercise or a creative reflection. Unspecified n/a Graded No


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

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback in class on discussion posts; individual feedback on mid-semester assignment, building to final essay proposal with individual consultation and feedback prior to completing the final essay; end-of-trimester workshop on essay writing and peer editing.