Places and Journeys - ENGL6550

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2021 to 2022.


This module explores places and journeys shaped by key modern historical processes: migration, travel, immigration, dispossession, colonial conquest, and post-colonial independence. From immigrant arrival and dislocation to national journeys and political fantasy, the course explores connections between journeys, locations, and literary production. The main objective is to think about places and journeys as sites and processes of negotiation and contradiction, convergence and discord, clash and reconciliation. Specific locations include: London, East Africa, and the Caribbean. Writers and texts include: Merle Collins (Angel), Naguib Mahfouz (Cairo Modern), Jean Rhys (Voyage in the Dark), and Sam Selvon (The Lonely Londoners).


Contact hours

10 x 3-hour seminars

Method of assessment

This module can be taken by standard coursework route or by dissertation. NB: students can only take ONE MODULE by dissertation in stage 3.

Module by standard coursework:
100% coursework: seminar performance (10%), two 3000-word essays (45% each).

Module by dissertation:
Assessment will be in the form of:
1) a 500-word dissertation proposal (formative assessment and non-marked)
2) a dissertation of 6000 words (90%)
3) seminar performance mark (in accordance with the criteria published in the School of English Undergraduate Handbook (10%)

Indicative reading

Collins, M. (1988; 2011) Angel. Leeds: Peepal Tree
Djebar, A. (2006) Children of the New World: A Novel of the Algerian War. New York: The Feminist Press
Gurnah, Abdulrazak (1994) Paradise. London: Bloomsbury.
Lindqvist, S. (2012) Saharan Journey. Oxford: Granta Books.
Mahfouz, N. (1945; 2008) Cairo Modern. New York: Anchor.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate the following subject specific learning outcomes:

• Think critically about migration and immigration
• Think historically about migration, immigration, and the postcolonial
• Compare texts from different geographic locations
• Connect historical processes to literary texts

On successful completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate the following generic learning outcomes:

• application of the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
• ability to synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of theory and practice; ability to synthesise material from a number of sources in a coherent creative whole
• the ability to frame oral criticism of creative work sensitively and constructively and to digest it to good effect
• develop powers of communication and the capacity to argue a point of view, orally and in written form, with clarity, organisation and cogency
• enhance confidence in the efficient presentation of ideas designed to stimulate critical debate
• competence in the planning and execution of essays and project-work and in the conception, planning, execution and editing of individual creative work
• enhanced skills in collaborative intellectual or creative work, including more finely tuned listening and questioning skills
• the ability to understand, interrogate and apply a variety of theoretical positions and weigh the importance of alternative perspectives

In addition, students taking the module by dissertation will be able to:
marshal complex knowledge and present it clearly and logically in the substantive form of a dissertation


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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