English - Free topic B: The Self and the World in Recent American Fiction

Course content

This 15 ECTS course is focused on the reading of twenty-first century novels. Students will read 6-8 novels for each section of the course. One half of the course (taught by Martyn Bone) will focus on contemporary transnational American fiction: twenty-first century novels that situate the United States at global scales (hemispheric, transatlantic, and transpacific), often with an emphasis on migration. The other half of the course (taught by Tina Lupton) will focus on recent US novels that raise questions of selfhood, identity, and gender. In both parts of the course, we will be looking at questions of how the formal developments of the novel relate to the changing identity of the nation, the state, and the self in today’s global world. 

Classes will emphasize student involvement and discussion.

Authors may include Yaa Gyasi, Teju Cole, Ha Jin, Monique Truong, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Ocean Vuong, and Laila Lalami, Claudia Rankine, Elizabeth Strout, Jenny Offill, Ottessa Mosfegh, Garth Greenwell, and Carmen Machado.


Students should be prepared to read fairly long novels in English.  Those who prefer audio-reading welcome.

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

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Type of assessment
Portfolio, A joint portfolio uploaded in digital exam: Deadline June 7th 2024
Type of assessment details
The portfolio exam will consist of two papers of 8-10 pages each (one for the section taught by Martyn, one for the section taught by Tina) and a conference-style presentation, with slides of 3-5 pages from the presentation uploaded as part of the portfolio. The portfolio will combine these three elements for 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

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
  • Martyn Richard Bone   (4-6875746b466e7b7334717b346a71)
  • Tina Jane Lupton   (7-786d7265707974446c7971326f7932686f)
Saved on the 03-05-2023

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