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A World of Literature II: Empire & Aftermaths - ENG00022C

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Olivia Carpenter
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

This module is a core foundational module for all First Year Single Subject English Literature studies. This module addresses the relationship between modern empire and literary culture. It builds on intellectual groundings provided in both Approaches to Literature I and A World of Literature I. Chronologically, this module works out from the late seventeenth century, moves through the informal and formal imperial developments of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and investigations the imperial transitions and consequences – or aftermaths – that dominated the twentieth century.

The module is organised into four key topics areas: Plantation & Slavery; Travel & Territories; Writing Back; and A World of English/es(?). The module will examine a range of different genres and forms, and also introduce critical terms, concepts and theories that have been used to grapple with empire and imperial culture as well as anti- and post-colonial pressures. The module cannot cover “the whole world” but it will help students to understand how the world became so tightly interconnected (we might say “worlded”) and why this is important to literary studies – including our responses to issues of wealth and inequality, race and gender, travel and migration.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

The primary aim of the module is to addresses the relationship between modern empire and literary culture.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a foundational understanding of and engagement with a range texts from the late seventeenth century through to the twentieth century, and their relation to empire.

  2. Demonstrate a foundational understanding of and engagement with key literary and cultural changes and developments occurring across this period in relation to empire.

3. Engage with key debates and critical contexts relating to modern empire and empire’s literary and cultural aftermaths.

4. Develop arguments and ideas which demonstrate foundational critical thinking, research, and writing skills.

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
1000 word Textual Commentary
N/A 30
2000 word Essay
N/A 70

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Formative: In-class workshopping of essay title, introduction, bibliography in week 8

Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
2500 word Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • You will receive feedback on all assessed work within the University deadline, and will often receive it more quickly. The purpose of feedback is to inform your future work; it is provided in a pedagogical spirit, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback you can discuss it with your tutor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours.

  • For more information about the feedback you will receive for your work, see section 12 of the department's Guide to Assessment, available on the Student Home Page

Indicative reading

Key texts for this module may include the following. For current information students should consult the VLE site or the module convenor:

  • Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko (1688)
  • Slave Narratives
  • Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (1883)
  • Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good (1988)
  • Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
  • Salmon Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1981)
  • Poetry Selection

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.