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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3251 Memorialising Slavery

20 creditsClass Size: 40


Module manager: Dr Sam Durrant

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

Module replaces

ENGL32138 Memorialising Slavery

This module is not approved as an Elective


This module will give students a unique opportunity to study the relationship between literature and memory in a cross-cultural context, focussing on the memory of slavery and the Middle Passage. It aims not only to develop traditional close reading skills but also to engage students in the wider field of cultural analysis and to help them to think critically about the interrelation of history, memory, race and community.

Learning outcomes
Students will have developed:
- the ability to use written and oral communication effectively;
- the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
- the ability to manage quantities of complex information in a structured and systematic way;
- the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
- critical reasoning;
- research skills, including the retrieval of information, the organisation of material and the evaluation of its importance;
- IT skills;
- efficient time management and organisation skills;
- the ability to learn independently.

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.


This module looks at how different writers remember slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. At the centre of our discussions will be the problem of how to come to terms with such a traumatic history, how to balance the need to remember the suffering of one's ancestors with the need to gain some form of historical and/or psychological closure. We will explore how a shared memory of racial oppression continues to shape black identity throughout the diverse communities of the African diaspora, looking at fiction and poetry by African-American, Caribbean and Black British writers. Screenings of films such as Sankofa, Beloved and Amistad will supplement our reading.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours185.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Teaching will be through weekly seminars (10 x 1 hour) plus up to 5 additional hours (content to be determined by the module tutor). The 5 additional hours may include lectures, plenary sessions, film showings, or the return of unassessed/assessed essays.

Private Study: Reading, seminar preparation and essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminar contribution
1st assessed essay.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1,700 words33.30
Essay2,750 words66.70
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: 24/04/2008


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