English - Free topic D: 20th and 21st Century Anglophone Literature in Perspective

Course content

100 Years of Literary Theory and Practice: Anglophone Literature from Modernism to Postmodernism to (Post)-Postmodernism – and Beyond (IBS)

How has Anglophone literature evolved over the last one hundred years? What are the principal modes of thought and literary practice in the 20th and 21st centuries? What is this concept of ‘modernism’ that features centrally in the overarching currents and what happens to it as we add another ‘post’ – and yet another ad absurdum? How did we think about literature after the first world war, after the second world war, after 9/11? What forms were experimented with? And what is going on on the literary scene right now in the era of ‘post truth’ and social media? Is a ‘new humanism’ making itself felt in the second decade of the 21st century?

This is your chance to look back over the last one hundred years of literature on both sides of the Atlantic and think about such key concepts as representation, language, narrative, power, simulation as we discuss such topics as equality, gender, ethnicity, violence, emotion and the latest neuroscientific  perspectives on the phenomenon of reading.


Reading Mobility: Exile, Migrant, Refugee (ERK)

In this part of the module, we will study literature that spans the late 20th and early 21st centuries through a focus on the central figures of the exile, the migrant and the refugee, in both literary and theoretical texts. We will begin by conceptualising mobility in order to establish a theoretical platform from which to study exile literature, then we will explore (im)migrant literature, focusing on ‘traditional’ postcolonial texts of the mid to late 20th century, and finally we will engage in early 21st century refugee literature in connection with the ‘new mobilities’ paradigm. We will end the course by considering the figure of the traveller as a reconceptualised and democratising figure that troubles many of the more established ways of reading mobility.



100 Hundred Years of Literary Theory and Practice: Students will study theoretical texts from Eliot over Barthes, Derrida, to McHale, Holland and von Mossner and we will read literary works by such writers as Hemingway, Joyce; Barnes, Auster, Winterson; Krauss, Luiselli.

Reading list TBA in the course of the summer.


Reading Mobility: Among writers to be considered are: Edward Said, Salman Rushdie, Sam Selvon, Andrea Levy, Dina Nayeri, Valeria Luiselli and Helon Habila. Reading list TBA in due time before semester begins.

This course only leads to exams Free Topic 1, Free Topic 2 and Free Topic 3.

Continuous feedback during the course
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Portfolio, A joint portfolio uploaded in digital exam: Deadline January 4th 2023
Type of assessment details
100 Hundred Years of Literary Theory and Practice: A power point presentation (3-5 slides) at a student conference based on a synopsis and bibliography (2-4 pages) in the literature element. Slides, synopsis and presentation count as ½ of the final grade.
Reading Mobility: Final essay (11-15 pages) on set question(s). It counts as ½ of the final grade.
Criteria for exam assessment

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 353,5
  • English
  • 409,5


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester


Dette er et dagkursus via tompladsordningen mod betaling på Åbent Universitet. Tilmeld dig og se aktuel prisoversigt på www.aabentuniversitet.hum.ku.dk

See schedule
Study board of English, Germanic and Romance Studies
Contracting department
  • Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinators
  • Inge Birgitte Siegumfeldt   (6-756b6769776f426a776f306d7730666d)
  • Eva Rask Knudsen   (5-687564766e436b7870316e7831676e)
Saved on the 07-10-2022

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