Nineteenth-Century World Literatures - ENGL8450

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Autumn Term 7 30 (15) Lars Atkin checkmark-circle


This module will introduce you to a variety of theoretical frameworks for reading nineteenth-century literature as 'world literature': that is, the product of global circuits of knowledge and commodity exchange, as well as cross-cultural encounters. We will also look at how marginalised colonial writers such as ex-slaves, Indigenous people and those of mixed heritage sought to make their lives and experiences legible to predominantly white reading publics in a literary marketplace structured by the racial logic of capitalism and imperialism. This necessitates studying a broad array of writings from poetry and novels to sketches and travelogues. This module will also introduce you to a range of scholarly approaches to these texts including those frameworks provided by black feminism, critical indigenous studies, new imperial history and settler colonial studies.


Contact hours

Private Study: 280
Contact Hours:20
Total: 300


Optional to the following courses:
MA Postcolonial Studies;
MA English and American Literature

Method of assessment

14.1 Main assessment methods
Essay (5,000 words) (100%)

Reassessment methods
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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 Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of key genres, themes and formal strategies through which British and colonial writers responded to the expansion of the British Empire;
2 Demonstrate a sophisticated and historicised understanding of the ways in which imperialism and colonialism affected discourses on race, class and the nation within Britain and the British Empire;
3 Engage with current critical debates about the value of critical frameworks such as 'world system theory', 'settler colonial studies' and 'postcolonial theory' for deepening our understanding of nineteenth-century literature as world literature;
4 Demonstrate knowledge and appreciation of nineteenth-century literature beyond canonical writers, and enhance their skills in analysing a diverse range of genres.

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

1 Demonstrate the ability to synthesise complex information with precision and subtlety;
2 Demonstrate the ability to comprehend, analyse, and interrogate a variety of texts and assess the value of diverse critical approaches and ideas;
3 Demonstrate the capacity to mount complex arguments lucidly and persuasively in a range of contexts;
4 Demonstrate the ability to situate their own arguments in relation to complex critical debates, and to articulate the implications of their own intellectual positions;
5 Demonstrate their capacity to carry out independent research.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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