English - Elective Subject, topic 1: Anglophone World Literature in the 21st Century

Course content

This course introduces you to a selection of critically acclaimed texts from the early 21st century that pivot on the complex and intertwined themes of nation, migration, identity and mobility. The texts will be explored from postcolonial and global perspectives. The course begins with an introduction to the theoretical terms of discourse, representation and agency which are integral to our analyses of the literary texts. It includes 4 thematically organised units and 3 ‘stop and think’ interludes that encourage you to activate relevant theories and critically engage in the ways in which literary texts speak to our current times as well as to the particular worlds in which they are set – and read.


Please note that final course plan and reading list will be available early January 2021.

Preliminary theoretical readings:

Robert Young, Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction, 2nd ed (OUP, 2020, extracts)

John McLeod, Beginning Postcolonialism, 2nd ed. (Manchester UP, 2010, extracts)

Manfred B. Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction, 5th ed (OUP, 2020, extracts)

Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Times (Polity, 2007, extracts)

A selection on recent essays (tba)

Preliminary course plan:
Introduction: On Discourse, Representation and Agency (2 weeks, taught by Eva and Ulla)
Historical (con)text: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)
‘Stop and think 1’ (1 week, Eva and Ulla)
1 unit: The Nation in Question: African Home and Belonging (2 weeks, Eva)
Texts: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006) and Taiye Selasi, Ghana Must Go (2013)
Nation theory (McLeod, Young)
2 unit: The Multicultural Nation: British Identities (2 weeks, Ulla)
Texts: Sunjeev Sahota, Ours are the Streets (2011) and Sathnam Sanghera, Marriage Material (2014)
Globalisation theory (Steger)
‘Stop and think 2’ (1 week, Eva and Ulla)
3 unit: New Mobilities: Migrantion and Globalisation (2 weeks, Eva)
Texts: Mohsin Hamid, Exit West (2017) and Donal Ryan, From a Low and Quiet Sea (2018)
Migration theory (Bauman)
4 unit: Brexlit: The nation under siege (2 weeks, Ulla)
Texts: Jonathan Coe, Middle England (2018) and Linda Grant, A Stranger City (2019)
More globalisation theory (Bauman and Steger)
‘Stop and think 3’ (1 week, Eva and Ulla)

Course conclusion and exam preparation (1 week, Eva and Ulla)

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assessment

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 84
  • Preparation
  • 325,5
  • English
  • 409,5