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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL32169 Contemporary South African Writing

20 creditsClass Size: 30

For full module descriptions of our level 2 and 3 undergraduate modules (including details of preparatory reading, texts for purchase and required unassessed work) please see the Undergraduate Module Handbook in the English Organisation on the VLE.

Visiting and Exchange Students must read this information before selecting modules.

Module manager: Dr Brendon Nicholls
Email: b.l.nicholls@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Pre-requisite qualifications

Grade B at 'A' Level in English Literature (or equivalent) or an achieved mark of 56 or above in a Level 1 module in English (or its non-UK equivalent).

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Contemporary South African writing is undergoing key transformations, marked by the decline of political protest and the resurgence of the everyday and its popular cultural focus. Likewise, these literary texts depart from more staid canonical narrative forms to reconsider and experiment with South African identities in new ways. Starting with an historical and foundational focus on the poetry of anti-Apartheid struggle (available on the VLE), our classes will move on to measure contemporary post-Apartheid literature’s newly energised approach to South African experience and representation. We will track a turn away from the politics of protest towards a preoccupation with the environment and historical trauma (Mda), the layered geographies of the street child (Duiker), and the new migrants (makwerekwere) and HIV/AIDS (Mpe).

Objectives

To explore the preoccupations of South African writing (AIDS, environmentalism, migrancy), as they are emerging in the present day.

To examine how narratives are told, why they are told, and why they are studied.

To learn to engage directly with new writing from South Africa and to understand its dynamic relationship to identity, politics and culture.

Learning outcomes
The current status of South African writing in the present day.

Why and how literary and cultural narratives circulate, and how to develop a critical understanding of their cultural functions.

Reflection upon critical writing and intellectual purpose.

Skills outcomes
Skills for effective communication, oral and written.
Capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse.
Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
Capacity for independent thought and judgement.
Critical reasoning.
Research skills, including information retrieval skills, the organisation of material, and the evaluation of its importance.
IT skills.
Time management and organisational skills.
Independent learning.


Syllabus

Contemporary South African writing is undergoing key transformations, marked by the decline of political protest and the resurgence of the everyday and its popular cultural focus. Likewise, these literary texts depart from more staid canonical narrative forms to reconsider and experiment with South African identities in new ways. Starting with an historical and foundational focus on the poetry of anti-Apartheid struggle (available on the VLE), our classes will move on to measure contemporary post-Apartheid literature’s newly energised approach to South African experience and representation. We will track a turn away from the politics of protest towards a preoccupation with the environment and historical trauma (Mda), the layered geographies of the street child (Duiker), and the new migrants (makwerekwere) and HIV/AIDS (Mpe).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture21.002.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Private study hours188.00
Total Contact hours12.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Reading, seminar preparation and essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Contributions to Seminars
- Feedback on 1700 word essay

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,750 words - this essay will require students to include a reflective personal statement in which they showcase their scholarly agenda and intellectual approach66.70
Essay1,700 words - this essay will require students to include a reflective personal statement in which they showcase their scholarly agenda and intellectual approach33.30
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 21/04/2017

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