Global Capitalism and the Novel - ENGL7220

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module examines the relationship between global capitalism and the novel since the 1980s. By arguing for the centrality of capital and class in the understanding of contemporary post-colonial literature, it reveals how a vibrant global realism has emerged that speaks to the new urban realities of massive rural migration to the city, exploding slum life, and more polarized class inequalities in the global South. It will explore how neoliberal globalization both makes possible and is critiqued by new realist narratives of abjection and resistance from across the global South, especially from India, Nigeria, South Africa, Martinique, Chile, and Egypt.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 32
Private study hours: 268
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Essay 1 3,000 words 40%
Essay 2 3,000 words 40%
Seminar Participation 20%

Reassessment methods
100% Coursework (4,500 words)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 think critically about global capitalism and the novel, connecting political economy to cultural development
2 think historically about the evolution of the realist novel form using theories including by Raymond Williams and George Lúkacs
3 study and compare texts from different geographic locations to draw out common and distinctive features across cultures
4 connect politics with aesthetics in the context of agency and social change
5 make distinctions between decolonization and neoliberal era globally
6 study novels and theories of the new global slums through the prism of urban space and labour relations

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
2 synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of theory and practice;
3 frame criticism of creative work sensitively and constructively and to digest it to good effect
4 demonstrate powers of communication and the capacity to argue a point of view with clarity, organisation and cogency, using a variety of methods
5 demonstrate enhanced confidence in the efficient presentation of ideas designed to stimulate critical debate
6 demonstrate competence in the planning and execution of essays and project-work and in the conception, planning, execution and editing of individual creative work
7 demonstrate enhanced skills in collaborative work, including more finely tuned listening and questioning skills
8 understand, interrogate and apply a variety of theoretical positions and weigh the importance of alternative perspectives


  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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