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Study information

Key Concepts for Global Literatures and Cultures

Module titleKey Concepts for Global Literatures and Cultures
Module codeSMLM235
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Professor Muireann Maguire (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

In this module, you will explore the study of global literatures and cultures through theoretical and empirical investigations of European and non-European sources alike. Our discussions will revolve around key themes such as globalism, transnationality, modernity, coloniality and postcoloniality. We also cover critical terminology and definitions, research methods, key texts and ideas relating to the study of global literatures and cultures. You will have opportunities to engage with empirical case studies and primary texts from across the world covering both pre-modern and modern periods.  With a team of world-class experts in the literatures and cultures of Europe (including the United Kingdom and Russia), the United States, as well as China, South America, and the broader Global South, you will be offered first-class teaching and supervision. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

  • This module offers you the opportunity to learn about global literatures and cultures in the modern and pre-modern period from a range of experts in the field, to equip you better to communicate and operate in a globalised world.
  • The module will allow you to engage with current debates in this area, and to understand key concepts and trends

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Identify and assess globalism, transnationality, coloniality, and postcoloniality in global literature and culture through time and in relation to geography and genre.
  • 2. Relate literary and cultural production to factors such as race, gender, income and education.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Analyse and account for the specific features of cultural production across a range of contexts and through time.
  • 4. Assess how ideas and genres cross geographical, linguistic and political borders.
  • 5. Engage critically with theoretical discourses relating to global literatures and cultures.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Interpret and analyse complex textual and cultural artefacts.
  • 7. Assimilate significant quantities of data (written text and visual sources) and relate this to exemplars or case studies.
  • 8. Express yourself clearly and with precision in oral and written form

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction, structure and Methodology
  • Global/Globalisation (pre-modernist)
  • Global/Globalisation (modernist)
  • Translation/Transformation (pre-modernist)
  • Translation/Transformation (modernist)
  • Encounter/Entanglement (pre-modernist)
  • Encounter/Entanglement (modernist)
  • Global/Globalisation (case study: pre-modern)
  • Global/Globalisation (case study: modern)
  • Translation/Transformation (case study: pre-modern)
  • Translation/Transformation (case study: modern)
  • Encounter/Entanglement (case study: pre-modern)
  • Encounter/Entanglement (case study: modern)
  • Concluding workshop

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching77 x 1 hour Lectures (introductory classes)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching157 x 2 hour seminars plus 1 x 1 hour concluding workshop
Guided Independent Study278Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual supervisions 10-15 minutes 1-8Tutorial. Oral feedbacks

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research report252500 words1-8Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up.
Essay755000 words1-8Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up.

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Research reportResearch report1-8Referral/Deferral Period
EssayEssay1-8Referral/Deferral Period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Amin, Samir, Global History: A View from the South (Cape Town: Pambazuka Press, 2010), pp. 1-49.
  • Casanova, Pascale, The World Republic of Letters, ConvergencesÃ?�Ã?¢Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½Ã?�Ã?¯: Inventories of the Present (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004)
  • Chaudhuri, Rosinka, and Elleke Boehmer, eds., The Indian Postcolonial: A Critical Reader (New York: Routledge, 2011), pp. 163-176.
  • Haen, Theo d’, David Damrosch, and Djelal Kadir, eds., The Routledge Companion to World Literature (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2012).
  • Heng, Geraldine, ‘The Global Middle Ages: An Experiment in Collaborative Humanities, or Imagining the World, 500–1500 C.E.’, English Language Notes, 47.1 (2009), 205–16.
  • Jameson, Fredric, and Masao Miyoshi, eds., The Cultures of Globalization (Durham, N.C: Duke University Press, 1998)
  • Kalliney, Peter J., Modernism in a Global Context (London: Bloomsbury, 2016)
  • Said, Edward W., Culture and Imperialism (London: Vintage, 1994)
  • Saussy, Haun ed., Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization (Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006)
  • Scheidel, Walter ed., Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).
  • Wallerstein, Immanuel, The Modern World-System, 4 vols (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2011), v1 (2011), pp. xvii-11.
  • Wollaeger, Mark A., and Matt Eatough, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Global Modernisms (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).

Key words search

Globalisation, Modern, Pre-modern, medieval, colonialism, postcolonialism 

Credit value30
Module ECTS


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