Contemporary Cultural Studies: Migration, Postmigration and Contemporary Arts: Literature and film

Course content

The concept of postmigration does not refer to a utopian state of affairs in which challenges of migration have been, or can be, overcome. The postmigrant condition rather designates a set of structural problematics and struggles over identity, history, belonging and community originating in the obsession with migration, migrants and migranticising, which permeates current European discourses.


In this course, we will engage with migration and postmigration as perspectives of increasing importance within art and academia in a globalising world where people move, nationally and transnationally, due to gentrification, urbanisation as well as economic(-), environmental(-) and humanitarian crises. We will examine a selection of post-millennial literary works and documentary films, which we will unpack by drawing on a range of theoretical writings. These writings include texts on postcolonial theory, critical theory and affect theory by Sara Ahmed, Sianne Ngai, José Esteban Muñoz, Gayatri Spivak, Hannah Arendt, Salman Rushdie and Frantz Fanon.


Since a majority of the selected artworks explored in the course contain autobiographical elements, we will consider both social and emotional implications of relocation from the perspectives of people with migration experience as well as descendants of migrants with no or limited migration experience. Allowing theory and works to critically inform each other on a larger scale, we will also challenge the political and historical dynamics of prevalent notions of migrancy and the migrant, exploring to what extent narratives of estrangement and return, along with feelings of homesickness and longing, may be critically productive. For example, how are mechanisms of marginalisation exposed through critiques of assimilation or transnational adoption?


The course aims to deepen insight into the effects and affects of migration and postmigration. The course will provide an overview of theoretical and analytical approaches to the field, which can be applied across genres. Key concepts and theories of the course include: migration and postmigration, affect(ive) theory on the critical productivity of negative affect, (dis)identifications, home and transgenerational memory, post- and decolonial thinking, racialisation and whiteness, nationalism and diasporic imaginaries. Writers, filmmakers and artists include: Athena Farrokhzad, Julie Sten-Knudsen, Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen, Grada Kilomba, Claudia Rankine, Teju Cole, Malene Choi, M.I.A., Nitesh Anjaan and The Blaze. 




This course can be taken separately, but is organised as one out of two courses focusing on migration and postmigration, the other one revolving mainly around visual arts and theatre. The course belongs to the second part of a ‘Cultural History’ module in Modern Culture [kulturhistorisk emne] or a ‘Contemporary Cultural Studies’ module in Comparative Literature [aktuel kulturforskning]. The course will be held in English, however, students can choose whether to hand in the concluding exam project in Danish or English, and the teacher can supervise in both languages.


Each part of the course comprises a syllabus of 500-700 standard pages (of 2,400 keystrokes, i.e. 1,000-1,400 standard pages in total).


Litteraturvidenskab og Moderne kultur

Dette kursus udbydes som et forløb 2 i tapas-modellen. Hvis du er indskrevet på 2015-ordningen, skal du tilmelde dig både et forløb og et forløb 2. Det er IKKE muligt at vælge at følge f.eks. 2 Forløb 1 eller 2 Forløb 2.
This course is offered as a training course 2 in the "tapas-model". If you are enrolled in the 2015 regulations, you must register for a training course 1 and a training course 2. It is not possible to choose to follow, for example. 2 study 1 or 2 training course 2.

Type of assessment
Eksamen kan aflægges i Aktuel kulturforskning og Frit emne på litteraturvidenskab Se studieordning: https:/​/​​uddannelser/​aktuelle_studieordninger/​litteraturvidenskab/​litteraturvidenskab_ka.pdf
Eksamen kan aflægges i Kulturhistorisk emne og Frit emne, se studieordning her: https:/​/​​uddannelser/​aktuelle_studieordninger/​moderne_kultur/​moderne_kultur_og_kulturformidling_ka.pdf
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 140
  • Exam
  • 42
  • English
  • 210