Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Issues in Contemporary World Literatures
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 2 x 1 hour lectures each week
Seminars / Tutorials 1 x 1 hour seminar each week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay Assignment x 2  2 x 2,000 word essays  100%
Supplementary Assessment Re-submission of failed or missing course work  Students who fail the module will be required to make good any missing assigment elements and/or resubmit any failed coursework assignments (writing on a fresh topic). 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion this module, students will be able to

1 demonstrate a knowledge of a range of world literature authored by Australian, Kenyan, South African and Nigerial writers

2 demonstrate critical and interpretative skills appropriate to Level 1 and deploy an appropriate critical vocabulary

3 demonstrate critically issues of literary language, form and genre

4 demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between literary text and appropriate cultural contexts

5 demonstrate a basic competence in skills of searching for, correctly referencing and summarizing appropriate critical material

Brief description

This module introduces students to a range of world literature written during the 20th and 21st centuries and to the skills required to analyse international writing. Divided into two sections, the module is organised along geographical, historical and thematic lines. The first section considers the legacies of settler colonialism in Australia. Kate Grenville's novel The Secret River dramatizes the colonization of Australia in the early nineteenth century. The aboriginal playwright Jack Davis explores the powerful allure of the past and historical memory for aboriginals living in urban settings during the twentieth century in his play The Dreamers. The poet Les Murray, one of the leading poetic voices in contemporary Anglophone writing, explores multiple aspects of Australian national identity in his many volumes of poetry. Section Two focuses on three African writers, the Kenyan Ngugi wa Thiong'o, the South African J. M. Coetzee and the Nigerian Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Ngugi explores the divided politics of independence in his landmark novel A Grain of Wheat, while Coetzee's post-apartheid novel Disgrace builds on prior works in which he explored the dynamics of a deeply divided nation. Amongst other subjects Adichie's short stories explore the meanings of home for a new generation of cosmopolitan Nigerians who divide their time between Africa and the United States.


Section One: Australian Literature
1. Issues in World Literatures in English
2. Kate Grenville, The Secret River I: Historical Contexts of Colonialism
3. The Secret River II: Recreating Identity in a New World
4. The Secret River III: Cultures in Conflict
5. Aboriginal Voices In Australian Literature
6. Jack Davis, The Dreamers I: Aboriginal Drama
7. The Dreamers II: Dramatising Historical Trauma
8. Critical Skills for Studying World Literatures
9. Les Murray, Learning Human I:Australian landscapes
10. Learning Human II: Exploring Australian national identity

Section Two: Contemporary African Literatures in English
11. Postcolonial African literature in English and the Legacies of British colonialism
12. Ngugi wa Thiong'o, A Grain of Wheat I: British colonialism and Kenyan independence
13. Ngugi wa Thiong'o, A Grain of Wheat I: Narrating the new nation
14. J. M. Coetzee and South African literature
15. J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace I: Narrating the New South Africa
16. Disgrace II: Whiteness in Post-Apartheid South Africa
17. Key Themes in Contemporary Nigerian literature
18. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Thing Around Your Neck I: Postcolonial Nigeria
19. The Thing Around Your Neck II: Cosmopolitanism and the Reinvention of Home
20. World Literatures in the 21st Century

Seminar Topics
1. Introduction to World Literatures in English

Part One. Australian Literature
Cultures in Conflict
2-3. Kate Grenville, The Secret River (2005)

Aboriginal Drama
4. Jack Davis, The Dreamers (1980)

Australian Poetry
5. Les Murray, Learning Human (2001)

Part Two. Contemporary African Literatures in English
Kenyan Independence
6-7. Ngugi wa Thiong'o, A Grain of Wheat (1967)

South Africa after Apartheid
8-9. J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace (1999)

Contemporary Nigeria
10. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Thing Around Your Neck (2009)

Estimated breakdown of student workload:
30 hrs contact time in lectures and taught seminars
70 hours seminar prepartion
100 hrs supplementary reading and essay preparation

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Through communicating information and ideas in written arguments and through seminar discussions and presentations
Improving own Learning and Performance Through independent research and writing and through receipt of written evaluation of assigned work by module tutor.
Information Technology Through the use of word-processing in the completion of essay assignments and through the use of LION, JSTOR and other relevant databases while conducting the research necessary for essay assignments.
Personal Development and Career planning Through critical self-reflection and the development of transferable communication and research skills
Problem solving Through developing the skills required for literary analysis and through the exercise of reasoned argument in written work.
Research skills Through conducting relevant critical and contextual research for seminar presentations and essay assignments
Subject Specific Skills Reading and writing skills, through the study of literary texts and relevant critical literature. Development of analytical skills required for the study of literature
Team work Through group presentations in seminars

Reading List

Essential Reading
Coetzee, J M (1999) Disgrace Primo search Davis, Jack (1996 (2004 prin) The dreamers /Jack Davis. Currency Press Primo search Grenville, Kate (2005) The Secret River Primo search Murray, Les (2001) Learning Human Primo search Ngozi Adichie, Chimamanda (2009) The Thing Around Your Neck Primo search Thiong'o, Ngugi wa (1967) A Grain of Wheat Primo search
Recommended Text
Abiola Irele, F (2009) The Cambridge Companion to the African Novel Cambridge University Press Primo search Gilbert, H and Tompkins, J Post-Colonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics Primo search Head, Dominic (1997) J M Coetzee Cambride University Press Primo search Innes, J C L The Cambridge Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures in English Primo search Kruller, Eva-Marie (ed) (2004) The Cambridge Companion to Canadian Literature Cambridge University Press Primo search Lazarus, Neil (ed) (2004) The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies Cambridge University Press Primo search Loomba, Ania (2005) Colonialism/Postcolonialism Routledge Primo search Macleod, John (2000) Beginning Postcolonialism Manchester University Press Primo search Msiska, Mpalive-Hangson and Hyland, Paul (eds) (1997) Writing and Africa Longman Primo search Webby, Elizabeth (2000) Cambridge Companion to Australian Literature Cambridge University Press Primo search Woods, Tim (2007) African Pasts: Memory and History in African Literature Manchester University Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4