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 a one-day department symposium on the new mobilities in the 21st century is planned for April 2021. This symposium will give you a unique opportunity to meet some of the prominent critics and writers we will study in the course.

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)
  • Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Times (Polity, 2007, extracts)
  • A selection on recent essays (tba)
  • For Literary readings (see course plan, below)

Preliminary course plan:
• Introduction: On Discourse, Representation and Agency (2 weeks, taught by Eva and Ulla). Historical context: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902) and Frantz Fanon, Black Skin/White Masks (1952, extract)
• ‘Stop and think 1’ (1 week)
• 1 unit: The Nation in the Age of Globalisation: African Home and Belonging (2 weeks, Eva). Texts: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006) and Taiye Selasi, Ghana Must Go (2013)
• 2 unit: Identity: Race, Class and Gender in a Liquid World (2 weeks, Ulla). Texts: Bernadine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other (2019) and Dinaw Mengestu, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears (2007)
• ‘Stop and think 2’ (1 week)
• 3 unit: New Mobilities: Migrancy and Refugeeism (2 weeks, Ulla). Texts: Ryan, From a Low and Quiet Sea (2018) and Habila, Travellers (2019)
• 4 unit: New Humanism: Ontology and Epistemology (2 weeks, Eva). Texts: Hamid, Exit West (2017) and Herd and Anna Pincus, Refugee Tales (2016, 2017 and 2019, short extracs)
• ‘Stop and think 3’ (1 week)
• 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