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 texts written in multiple languages and from both Western and non-Western perspectives. This module is part of a global strand embedded in our programme, which will help students develop global sensitivity and appreciation for cultural and linguistic diversity.

The central question that will guide our discussions is how literary texts engage with the idea of the world. You will work collaboratively to develop critical and analytical skills that will enable you to appreciate: (1) how literary texts foster historical awareness and sensitivity to global issues affecting contemporary societies; (2) how literature is deeply shaped by cultural, political, and social forces; (3) how texts actively create narrative worlds that respond to specific symbolic and cultural needs.

Building upon the theoretical foundations acquired during the first year, students will 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: 73

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 44

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The module introduces students to a variety of artistic forms of expression originating from diverse cultural traditions and engaging global questions, such as migration, modernity, cultural and artistic translation, and movements of people and texts. Throughout the module, students will actively and collaboratively discuss the role of literature and literary criticism in our globalised and interconnected society. The module explores questions such as: the entanglements of the local and the global; non-Western and/or marginalised worldviews; circulation and translation of texts across languages, geographies, and media; 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 structured around 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
Oral exam or presentation PARTICIPATION 15
Coursework Essay (2000 words) 85

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 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 the analysis of literary forms.

The final 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.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Participation during our seminars: small group discussions, individual exercises, small group activities, and/or collective class discussion (15%).

  • a 2000-word essay (85%): 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. Students will be able to practice connective thinking and develop cultural and global awareness by relating a key concept from the module to a text and to a social and political issue they deem relevant today. This assessment will therefore foster independent thinking, resourcefulness in using a wide range of critical materials, and sustainability, as students will be able to reflect on how literature can help us envision more culturally sustainable and just futures.


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. Through this exercise, students  will be able 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 connective and comparative analysis they will be doing in the final essay.

Module aims

  • The module aims to: 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
  • 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

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 By the end of the module students will be able to: demonstrate an in-depth understanding of literary and cultural expression across diverse literary and cultural geographies K
002 Understand a wide range of social and historical contexts (both Western and non-Western) where literary objects have been produced and circulates KC
003 Employ close reading and analytical skills to situate texts and cultural artifacts within broader theoretical, social, and political traditions CT
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 Demonstrate resourcefulness and 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 relating to global literatures, their historical/political contexts, and the role and value of literary criticism in our contemporary world

  • Solidify subject knowledge through SurreyLearn and through exercises and activities that foster digital competencies

  • Develop skills in communication and cultivate student resourcefulness by working individually and as part of a group through student-led discussions during seminars. The seminars also provide students with instruction on planning and implementing timetables for work and on presenting ideas coherently under time constraints

  • Ground subject knowledge further and allow students bring into conversation theoretical materials with primary texts by working in small groups and by presenting their findings to the class during seminars

  • Participate in seminar discussions and activities from their own background, experience, and cultural expertise

  • Acquire and develop practical and transferable skills in working with others and in using rhetorical skills for argument


The learning and teaching methods include lectures, active seminar discussion, group work, and online resources.

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

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Global and Cultural Capabilities: students will be able to appreciate the diversity of literary expression across different cultural spaces and geographies. They will develop sensitivity and appreciation for literary expressions, genres, and forms of knowledge that have been historically marginalised in Western academia. This will give them confidence to analyse and discuss global inequalities, challenges, and potential solutions with rigorous critical tools, avoiding conscious and unconscious bias, and understanding the importance of considering a wide range of perspectives and worldviews.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: students will actively participate in seminar discussions and explore a wide range of resources both individually and through group work. They will develop critical skills that will be foundational in their intellectual, cognitive, and affective journey by connecting literary texts and cultural objects to broader political and historical questions that deeply shape global societies. As these skills will be developed gradually through formative assessment and short exercises, students will have the opportunity to receive feedback, learn from setbacks, and reflect on their progress.

Sustainability: this module aims to foster cultural sustainability by introducing students to a range of literary perspectives beyond Western and Anglophone writing. In reading and critically analysing these texts, students will develop the cultural and ethical tools to understand the value and significance of studying minority, non-British, and non-Western voices; they will therefore be able to imagine and work toward more culturally sustainable and equitable futures.

Digital capabilities: students will develop digital skills in connecting literature, texts, and theories to visual and video materials from different social media platforms. By analysing cultural and social phenomena that students encounter in their daily digital lives with the critical tools offered in the module, they will be able to concretely apply the critical skills cultivated throughout the semester to cultural issues and concerns that affect our digital societies.

Programmes this module appears in

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

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 2023/4 academic year.