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Academic Year 2023/2024

Un/Settling Global Literatures (ENG42080)

Arts & Humanities
English, Drama & Film
4 (Masters)
Module Coordinator:
Dr Sarah Comyn
Mode of Delivery:
On Campus
Internship Module:
How will I be graded?
Letter grades

Curricular information is subject to change.

This module will introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of settler colonial studies. It will examine texts produced by settler societies and Indigenous peoples in Anglophone settler colonies such as Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. The various genres that may be explored include: travel narratives and emigration literature, shipboard periodicals, the farm novel, the colonial and post-colonial gothic, and decolonial poetry. We will use theoretical frameworks from ecocriticism, decolonial methodologies, Indigenous studies, and settler colonial studies to consider how literature can be used as an agent of imperial expansion and to create modes of resistance and worlding that ‘unsettle’ and decolonise settler narratives of land possession and nationhood.

About this Module

Learning Outcomes:

At the conclusion of this module students should be able to demonstrate:
• A critical understanding of settler colonial studies and the criticism it has generated
• A familiarity with a range of literary forms and genres in settler and Indigenous writings
• A knowledge of the impact that emigration, settler colonialism, and frontier violence had on the formation of the national literary cultures and foundation myths of Australia, Canada, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and South Africa
• An increased understanding of how literature can be complicit in imperial expansion, settlement and the dispossession of Indigenous land, but can also be used to create forms of resistance to settler narratives of land possession and nationhood
• An ability to write critically about a range of texts from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century

Indicative Module Content:

Examples of potential authors include: Evelyn Araluen, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Tony Birch, Katherine Mansfield, Susanna Moodie, Ellen Van Neerven, Thomas Pringle, Zoë Wicomb, and Alexis Wright.

Topics may include: 19th-century settler colonial literature, emigration and settlement, decolonial poetics, frontier violence, extractivism and ecocriticism

Student Effort Hours:
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Approaches to learning may include:
Interactive classroom-based learning;
Lecturer and student presentations;
Peer and group work;
Seminar discussions;
Close textual reading.

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 In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Participation, contribution, and presentations Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Essay Proposal Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: Final essay of approx. 4000 words Unspecified n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components

Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer 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?

Not yet recorded.

ENG42080 Un/Settling Global Literatures Reading List*

Evelyn Araluen, Dropbear (2021)

Billy-Ray Belcourt, This Wound is a World (2017)

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies (2020)

Tony Birch, Common People (2017)

Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories (OUP World Classics, 2008)

Selina Tusitala Marsh, Fast Talking PI (2009)

Ellen Van Neerven, Throat (2021

Zoë Wicomb, Still Life (2020)

Alexis Wright, Carpentaria (2006)

*Please note: Part of the reality of studying literature that unsettles national canons is that it may not be widely available in Irish bookstores. While every effort has been made to order these books into the library, I highly recommend ordering copies of these works early. In addition to the Campus Bookshop, other bookstores that may be able to assist you in ordering copies include: The Gutter Bookshop (https://gutterbookshop.com/), Hodges and Figgis (https://www.waterstones.com/bookshops/hodges-figgis), Kenny's Bookstore (https://www.kennys.ie/), and The Company of Books (https://thecompanyofbooks.ie/)

Books out of copyright and available online and through Brightspace:

Susanna Moodie, Roughing it in the Bush (1852)

Thomas Pringle, African Sketches (1834)