Module code: ELI2048

Module Overview

By focusing on a wide range of postcolonial fictions, this module explores what it means to write in a postcolonial context and allows students to reflect on the legacies of colonialism today. Student will discuss how colonialism and postcoloniality affect both content and fictional form, and will be encouraged to use the solid theoretical foundations built during the first year in the programme to critically analyse postcolonial fictions and cultures. The skills in interpretive analysis and research they will acquire in this module will be fundamental in preparing them for the dissertation project at the conclusion of their learning journey.

Students will be able to explore a wide range of artistic forms¿prose, poetry, drama, and film and will develop crucial skills in critical analysis, connective thinking, and digital competency during our seminar discussions and in online activities.

This module is part of a global strand embedded in our programme. In addressing prominent global issues such as colonialism, migration, diaspora, racial, gender, and class inequalities this module offers students tools to understand how and why literature can be a powerful instrument of critique and analysis of a persistently unequal world. The module further provides a theoretical underpinning that will enable students to draw connections between contemporary fictions and postcolonial and decolonial theories.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

LAZZARI Gabriele (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 80

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 37

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The module will ask students to read and watch fictions¿prose, poetry, theatre, and film¿and to critically analyse the works of authors engaging with issues of postcolonial history, culture, experience, and critical thought.

This is an indicative list of authors and topics that might be discussed: intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, and class; modernity/coloniality; migration and diaspora; transnationalism; world literature; Afrofuturism; indigenous poetry; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Jhumpa Lahiri; Hanif Kureshi; Jamaica Kincaid; Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema, and Barney Simon; Tsitsi Dangarembga

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY (2500 WORDS) 85
Oral exam or presentation PARTICIPATION 15

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to:

  • enable students to develop global cultural awareness about a wide range of postcolonial cultures, their modes of expressions, and the themes and questions they raise to better understand the challenges of our contemporary globalised societies

  • develop skills in independent research, thinking, and writing by locating resources and materials to progressively develop a clear and compelling argument for the final essay

  • develop communications skills and practice active and empathetic listening through collaborative discussions and seminar activities and exercises (both individual and collaborative)

  • enable students to collaborate in the production of knowledge by contributing to a collective glossary of key concepts and terms

  • enhance their digital capabilities by working with a wide range of materials textual and visual both in class and in online environments, by locating research materials in online repositories, and by using digital tools on SurreyLearn

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • 2500-word essay in which students will be asked to analyse two texts and connect them to two theoretical concepts of their choice (85%)

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

The formative assessment consists of:

  • Constant feed forward during seminar discussion; collaborative exercise in which students will be able to receive feedback from their peers and discuss their interpretations and arguments; tutor feedback on the essay plan and on possible selection of texts and theories.

Module aims

  • The module aims to: deepen and widen students' knowledge of global and postcolonial fictions and cultures
  • increase knowledge and awareness of how fictional works engage with social and cultural issues
  • develop an understanding of contemporary literature, film, and theatre in a postcolonial context
  • further students' skills in terms of IT competency, written communication and oral presentations
  • introduce students to self-reflexive learning and evidence-based research and writing
  • strengthen students' ability to undertake analysis and critical thinking
  • develop further skills in independent study and group work and the ability to work to deadlines

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 By the end of the module students will: have a wide and relatively sophisticated understanding of postcolonial K fictions and cultures K
002 Have knowledge of and ability to analyse how different forms of fiction engage with social and cultural issues CK
003 Develop an understanding of how contemporary postcolonial fictions and cultures are contextualised in a global framework C
004 Attain a good level of skill in analysis and critical enquiry, as well as in independent study PT
005 Develop good time management skills and the ability to organise the research and writing of the final essay PT
006 Work collaboratively with peers using online resources and learning methodologies 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 through the weekly lectures on contemporary postcolonial literatures and cultures, and on how they engage with global social issues and contemporary inequalities.

Students will develop cognitive and analytical skills that will allow them to understand and analyse how postcolonial fictions are contextualised in global frameworks. This will help them develop cultural sensitivity and appreciation for a wide range of literary, filmic, and cultural forms originating from non-Western contexts and perspectives.

In the weekly seminars, students will participate in small group discussions of fictions and theories. Through individual activities, small group exercises, and collective discussions, students will cultivate skills in collaborative learning and self-reflexive enquiry based work. These activities will be crucial for developing the ability to articulate critical insights effectively and concisely.

Students will also develop digital capabilities by using a wide range of visual and written materials on SurreyLearn, by locating, connecting, and analysing relevant resources in databases of scholarly articles and books, and by collaboratively building a glossary of key terms related to postcolonial theory.

The learning and teaching methods include a combination of lecture materials, seminar discussions, captured content, guided learning and independent learning.

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: ELI2048

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 introduced to a wide range of fictions in different forms and media (prose, poetry, theatre, film) and from different cultural locations. They will be able to appreciate the importance of studying a world-historical phenomenon (colonialism) to better understand the challenges of contemporary postcolonial societies. In doing so, they will develop a wide cultural and global awareness about different cultures and forms of artistic expression.

Digital Capabilities: students will develop digital capabilities by participating in the writing of an online collaborative glossary, which will be foundational to the choice of topic and theoretical approach for the final essay. They will also use SurreyLearn to explore written and visual resources, and will develop research skills in online environments by locating and utilising critical and scholarly materials in preparation for the final essay.

Sustainability: this module aims to foster cultural sustainability by introducing students to literary perspectives that, due to the legacies of colonial forms of thinking and knowledge, are often marginalised in school curricula. 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 from a postcolonial perspective. They will develop an awareness of how the colonial past still informs the present, and will therefore be able to imagine and work toward more equitable and culturally sustainable social configurations.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and French BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory 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 2024/5 academic year.