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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL5756M Fictions of Citizenship in Contemporary American Literature

30 creditsClass Size: 10

Module manager: Dr Hamilton Carroll

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

As for the MA programme on which enrolled

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module, students should be familiar with a broad range of contemporary US literature from a variety of ethnic traditions. Through a comparative analysis of a variety of ethnic traditions, students will gain an understanding of the various tensions and congruities that animate the contemporary literary landscape in the United States. The module's temporal focus on the period from the mid-1980s to the present reflects an attention to the post-postmodern field of US literature and will allow students to reflect on contemporary literature with a sense of historical perspective. Secondary readings and discusion will ground students in a range of ongoing critical debates in both American Studies and American Literary Studies and will prepare them for further research in the fiels


This module will consider the relationships between citizenship, culture, and national identity by examining contemporary fictional narratives of citizenship and immigration. We shall examine how issues of race, gender, class, and ethnicity are addressed in contemporary fiction. In particular, we shall examine how the transformations of multiculturalism and the politics of difference have altered both the form and the content of contemporary narrative fiction. In his seminal work, Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson describes how the novel functions as a technology for the narration of the individual into the community of the nation. We shall consider how novels of citizenship and immigration continue (or not) to narrate forms of national belonging. Engaging work from a variety of ethnic traditions—African American, Asian American, Anglo American—will allow us to develop a comparativist analysis of contemporary multi-ethnic US literature. While our focus will be on the fictional texts that comprise our primary materials, we shall devote considerable attention to the scholarly works that constitute our secondary readings. This attention will allow us to consider current critical trends in the disciplines of American Studies and American Literary Studies and will provide students with a comprehensive overview that will prepare them for advanced work in the field.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours280.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Reading, researching, seminar preparation

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

One seminar presentation

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayOne 4000 words essay100.00
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: 15/08/2023 12:47:52


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