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Queer Encounters in Global Literatures & Cultures - ENG00137M

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Natasha Tanna
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

How is queerness represented in global literatures and cultures? How is gender and sexuality lived, conceptualised, and represented outside of the US/UK contexts that dominate Anglophone queer theory? Which queer works circulate globally and how are they altered in the process? We will explore these questions through analysing representations of queer identities and desires, including encounters between cultures in transnational queer works. We will analyse the intersection of LGBTQI+ identities, culture, and theory with issues of coloniality, empire, racialisation, and class. Themes will include: Black memoir, trans/queer disabilities, queer indigeneity, climate fiction, domestic abuse and trauma, and queer utopia. Our discussions will be rooted in the close analysis of cultural forms including memoir, poetry, novels, and film. Our corpus will include works by Akwaeke Emezi (Nigerian Igbo and Tamil writer), Cristina Rivera Garza (Mexican writer), Eli Claire (US writer), Sarah Waters (Welsh writer), Park Chan-Wook (Korean director), and Joshua Whitehead (Peguis First Nation writer).

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

This module aims to introduce you to cultural representations of gender and sexuality from a range of locations across the world. By the end of the module you will be able to situate a range queer texts in their socio-political contexts and to analyse the politics of queer rewriting, incorporation, and transposition as works move into and out of different sites. 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 gender, sexuality, disability, racialisation, class, and indigeneity.

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with a range queer literary texts in a variety of geographical contexts

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

  3. Evaluate key debates within the relevant critical fields dealing with the intersection of queerness with class, "race", coloniality, and disabilities.

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


Task Length % of module mark
4,500-word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
4,500-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 module tutor, the MA Convenor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours.

Indicative reading

  • Akwaeke Emezi’s Dear Senthuran: A Black spirit memoir (2021)
  • Cristina Rivera Garza’s La cresta de Ilión (2002)/The Iliac Crest (2017, translated from the Spanish by Sarah Booker)
  • Eli Claire’s Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure (2017)
  • Manuel Puig’s El beso de la mujer araña (1976)/ Kiss of the Spider Woman (1979, translated from the Spanish by Thomas Colchie)
  • Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith (2002)
  • Park Chan-Wook (dir.) The Handmaiden (2016)
  • Joshua Whitehead’s Full-Metal Indigiqueer (2017)
  • Rita Indiana’s La mucama de Omicunlé (2015)/Tentacle (2018, translated from the Spanish by Achy Obejas)
  • Carmen Maria Machado's In the Dream House (2019)

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.