Module code: ELI1029

Module Overview

This module introduces students to global literatures across geocultural spaces and historical periods through the study and critical analysis of a range of Anglophone and non-Anglophone texts. The central question that will guide our discussions is how literary texts engage with the idea of the world.
This will mean thinking about: (1) how literature is shaped by cultural, political, and economic forces; (2) how it registers diverse and historically contingent views of the world; (3) how it actively creates narrative worlds that respond to specific social and symbolic needs. In discussing these questions, we will also reflect on the value and challenges of studying literature today from a global, multilingual, and comparative perspective.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

LAZZARI Gabriele (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 84

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 33

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The module exposes students to a variety of artistic forms of expression that originate from diverse cultural traditions and that engage global questions. Thanks to the resurgence of world literature studies in the past decades, scholars have been interrogating the role of literature and literary criticism in our globalised and interconnected society. Starting from these premises, this module explores questions such as: the entanglements of the local and the global; circulation and translation of texts across languages, geographies, and media; non-Western or marginalised worldviews; relations between literary centres and peripheries. At the end of the semester, students will have acquired the critical tools to analyse texts in a global framework and to appreciate the value of literary studies and literary criticism today. The module is organized in 1-week units, each covering a specific topic or time period. The following is an indicative list of theories and themes to be covered. Each year, the module convenor will select relevant topics and structure the module following specific thematic threads.

Theories of world literature and unequal relations among literary spaces

How texts travel (or fail to) across space and time

Cosmopolitan, regional, and vernacular fiction

Literary world-making

Borders, migration, and diaspora

Global capitalism and uneven development

Translation and untranslatability

The global contemporary novel

Indigenous fiction and poetry

Asian modernism

African and Afro-diasporic fiction

Literatures of the Global South

Latin American and Caribbean fiction

The global Middle Ages

Travel writing (Western and non-Western)

Anthropocene fiction

Global film studies

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay (2000 words) 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the module learning outcomes. Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback is designed mainly to assess transferable skills in communicating ideas orally and in working individually and as part of a group. It also assesses subject knowledge relating to the historical, contextual, formal, and theoretical study of global literatures. Seminars also assess cognitive/ analytical skills in critical thinking and in analysis of literary form. The 2000-word essay assess subject knowledge relating to formal, contextual, critical, and theoretical approaches to the analysis of literary form and language, cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking, and professional/practical skills in communicating ideas in writing. The essay also assesses transferable skills, namely the ability to conduct research for written work in an organised and critical fashion and to develop and communicate imaginative and rigorous arguments in a sustained format. Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of: 2000-word essay In the final essay, students will be asked to reflect on the relevance of studying literary texts and other forms of artistic expression within a global framework and in relation to current social and cultural issues. More practically, the prompt of the essay will ask students to analyse one key concept discussed during the semester and explain its connections to (1) a text from the module and (2) a social or political issue they deem relevant and urgent today. Formative assessment and feedback Formative feed forward is provided through seminar discussions, tutor feedback in seminars, and through a 500-word analytical exercise that asks students to connect a key concepts from the module to a short video of their choice from a social media platform. The goal of the exercise is to encourage students to reflect on how critical tools from literary and cultural studies can illuminate crucial aspects of contemporary culture. This formative assessment will also prepare students for the critical and connective thinking they will be asked to practice in the final essay. Other feedback mechanisms will be agreed between tutor and students in week 1 of the module.

Module aims

  • broaden students, knowledge about a variety of global literatures;
  • practice methods of studying literature and culture across national and linguistic boundaries;
  • evaluate the nature, function, and value of literature from a global perspective;
  • advance students, ability to connect literary and cultural forms to social and political questions of relevance;
  • engage a wide range forms, genres, and media from a comparative perspective;
  • develop and strengthen critical reasoning and research skills;
  • analyse a specific body of research and write a clear and well-developed essay about a topic related to one or more literary and cultural traditions;
  • improve communication and presentation skills.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of literary and cultural expression in a global and comparative perspective K
002 Understand a wide range of social and historical contexts (both Western and non-Western) where literary objects have been produced and circulated K
003 Employ close reading and analytical skills to situate texts and cultural artifacts within broader theoretical, social, and political traditions
004 Be able to effectively communicate information, arguments, and analysis in oral and written formats, including online writing; T
005 Practice critical thinking across forms and media, and present ideas compellingly and succinctly PT
006 Work independently in conducting research PT
007 Demonstrate competency in using digital tools and materials for writing and research PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to deliver subject knowledge, to develop cognitive/ analytical skills, and to develop in-depth transferable, practical, and professional skills. Specifically, the weekly lectures deliver subject knowledge relating to global literatures, their historical/political contexts, and the role and value of literary criticism. The weekly seminars involve student-led discussions that develop skills in communication and in working individually and as part of a group. The seminars also provide students with instruction on planning and implementing timetables for work and on presenting ideas coherently under time constraints. This relates to the programme learning and teaching strategy, which, at FHEQ Level 4, is designed to introduce students to subject knowledge through the lectures. Further subject knowledge (e.g. web-links, critical reading, podcasts) is made available through SurreyLearn, which enables students to develop IT skills in accessing and utilising resources. Seminars, in which students are expected to have done core reading and to discuss this in class, serve to ground this subject knowledge further and to give students a reasonable level of attainment in the programmes cognitive, practical and transferable skills. Discussions in seminars and workshops aim to give students further practical and transferable skills in working with others and in using rhetorical skills for argument. These are backed up by the formative assessment of class discussion, and summative assessment. The learning and teaching methods include: -1-hour lecture per week x 11 weeks -1-hour seminar per week x 11 weeks

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELI1029

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature BA (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with German BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.