The programme concentrates on the border narratives to have emerged both within and between South Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific, the Americas and the United Kingdom. Diaspora culture is considered within both colonial and postcolonial contexts and ‘high’ cultural documents will be read alongside the popular discourses of film, photography and music. The work of key literary figures will be available for study, such as Césaire, Morrison, Rhys, Rushdie, Soyinka, Senghor, and Walcott, as well as the work of diaspora intellectuals like Said, Gilroy, Spivak, Bhabha, Hall, Du Bois, Clifford and Cixous. Coming to study in the Department you will find yourself in a thriving postgraduate culture where all members of academic staff are research active and where research students play a crucial role in helping the Department to remain at the cutting edge of its disciplines.
Structure and Content
Both full-time and part-time students will take a postcolonial core module over two semesters. In Semester One you study:
Travelling Theories: Postcolonial and diasporic theory
In Semester Two you will study:
Borderlands: Readings of border narratives
Further optional modules allow you to develop a more specialised knowledge. You will take one of these modules each semester. If you are on the part-time programme you will take the two optional modules in year two.
These modules vary depending on teaching staff, but they have included the following:
Contemporary Black British Writing
Routes: Fictions of Travel
Slavery and Caribbean Poetry
Transition: West African Writing
Atlantic and American Diasporas
South Asian Diasporas
Film and Diaspora
Aboriginal Writing and Painting
The Satanic Verses: Text and Inter-texts
Europeans and the Pacific
All MLitt postgraduates share a regular Research Methods core module. This seminar offers insights into the different approaches, problems and solutions to be met with in advanced literary study. It is designed to provide you with the research skills requisite for the dissertation and, beyond that, for advanced postgraduate study. Part-time students take this module in year two of the programme. It is also a forum for you to meet with other students, exchange views and share experiences.
The most significant piece of work on the programme will be a dissertation of 15,000 words on a subject of your choosing in consultation with a member of the Department. You may choose to develop work initiated on one of the modules you have studied. Those who do not embark on the dissertation may be awarded a Diploma. The work of the best students completing the programme may be deemed worthy of MLitt with Distinction.
Delivery and Assessment
Assessment in each semester will be based on coursework and essays; there are no formal examinations. Methods of assessment for each of the non-core modules will vary, but will often consist of a single essay. Teaching will take the form of regular tutorials in small groups. Though all the modules will offer close and careful supervision, you are expected to take proper responsibility for your own studies. The aim in all cases is to foster student-led learning in expert, stimulating and congenial company.
Completing a Master’s degree as a prelude to further academic research is an increasingly common pattern of study for young scholars and is a route encouraged by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Advanced education in the Arts, the practical experience of research and the production of a dissertation are significant transferable skills for many careers in business and the professions.