ENG-20060 - Contemporary World Literature
Coordinator: Nicholas Bentley Room: CBB2.057 Tel: +44 1782 7 33304
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

On this module you will study selected international fiction and poetry that reflects and engages with some of the profound changes taking place in contemporary societies and cultures . You will learn about the developing trends in poetry and fiction over the last 20 years or so and study the work of some of the leading novelists and poets of our period. You will also gain knowledge of critical concepts that are central to the study of the literature of this period including postmodernism, postcolonialism and gender studies. Writers studied on the module are likely to include J. M. Coetzee, Abu Bakr Khaal, Eden Robinson, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith, Derek Walcott, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jackie Kay, Warsan Shire, Yousif M. Qasmiyeh and Kayo Chingonyi.

To allow students to study selected anglophone literature produced during the contemporary period.
To enable students to reflect on the social contexts and political ideologies that have dominated during the contemporary period and to consider the significance of a variety of literary texts in relation to these.
To provide students with knowledge of various critical frameworks (cultural and literary) such as feminist theory, postmodernism and postcolonialism, and to develop an ability to work with these as part of an independent critical practice.
To enable students to appreciate and analyse the emergence and significance of different literary styles during the period.
To account for the importance of gender, class, sexual and racial identities in the literature of the period.

Intended Learning Outcomes

identify and assess critically the formal techniques used in contemporary fiction and/or poetry: 1,2
identify and evaluate trends in fiction and poetry in the contemporary period: 1,2
demonstrate close reading skills appropriate to the analysis of poetry and fiction: 1,2
enhance their interpretation of texts through knowledge of the historical contexts informing the contemporary period: 1,2
recognise and employ critical concepts and terms used in modern critical study such as formalism, postmodernism, postcolonialism, and gender studies: 1,2

Study hours

Contact time (36 hours)
Two hour lecture slots with one hour of traditional lecture and one hour of directed study (reading and analysing secondary criticism) per week AND one hour discussion-based seminar per week.
essay feedback (1 hour)
lecture and seminar preparation and private study (60 hours)
essay writing and preparation (40 hours)
short paper preparation and writing (13 hours)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Short Paper weighted 30%
700 word Short Paper
1000-word close reading of a short poem or narrative extract Students will be asked to produce a close reading of a poem or narrative extract. They will be offered three texts to choose from.

2: Essay weighted 70%
1,300 word Essay
Students will be asked to choose one from a list of essay questions. The essay questions will be theme based and cover topics studied on the module.