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Borders, Bodies, Bridges: Migration & Racialisation in Modern Literature & Culture - ENG00111H

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

Module summary

Our globalised world is characterised by forced and voluntary flows of people, labour, capital, resources, and ideas as well as violent or protective barriers to certain forms of circulation. This module will address the following questions: How do literary and cultural forms emerge from and engage with different migratory modes and diasporic identities? How does cultural production intervene in the so-called 'refugee crisis'? How does exile affect representations of home, family, and nation? How do literary reflections on enslavement and its legacies address gaps in historical archives? Throughout the module we will bring literary and cultural works into dialogue with other theoretical work on racialisation, racism, and migration.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

This module aims to introduce you to literary and cultural representations of migration and racialised identities in a range of locations across the world, including the US-Mexico border and ‘Fortress Europe’ (e.g. migrant camps in Calais and North Africa). Throughout the module you will develop your skills of close reading, formal analysis, and your ability to bring literary and filmic texts into dialogue with other theoretical work on migration and racialisation.

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with literary and cultural representations of different forms of migration in a variety of geographical contexts.

  2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with the interplay of content and form in literary/cultural creation through close reading.

  3. Evaluate key debates within the relevant critical fields dealing with cultural engagements with migration and racialisation.

  4. Produce independent arguments and ideas which demonstrate an advanced proficiency in critical thinking, research, and writing skills.


Task Length % of module mark
3000 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

You will be given the opportunity to submit a 1000-word formative essay for the module, which can feed into the 3000-word summative essay submitted at the end of the module.

Your essay will be annotated and returned to you by your tutor within two weeks.

You will submit your summative essay via the VLE during the revision and assessment weeks at the end of the teaching semester (weeks 13-15). Feedback on your summative essay will be uploaded to e:Vision to meet the University’s marking deadlines


Task Length % of module mark
3000 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 designed to help you to improve your work, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further 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 the department's Guide to Assessment

Indicative reading

Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel’s The Gurugu Pledge (2017) translated into English by Jethro Soutar

Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes’s Breach (2016)

Mayra Santos-Febres’s Boat People translated into English by Vanessa Pérez-Rosario (2021 [2005])

Mati Diop’s Atlantique/Atlantics (2019) with English subtitles

Cristina Peri Rossi’s La nave de los locos (1984) / The Ship of Fools translated into English by Psiche Hughes

Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987)

Javier Zamora’s Unaccompanied (2017)

Hamid Sulaiman’s Freedom Hospital: A Syrian Story (2016)

Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds (2016)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring 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 by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.