EAS3195 - Acts of Writing: From Decolonisation to Globalisation

2022/3 Module description

StaffDr Chris Campbell - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module description

Acts of Writing focuses on the processes of decolonisation, the decline of Empire, and the move to a globalising and interconnecting world, which have shaped the mid-20th to early- 21st century. The module allows you to consider key cultural and critical debates responding to these events. You will engage in detail with texts that consider questions of nationhood and community, revisionist historiography, the ethics of representation, collective guilt and responsibility, identity politics, new subjectivities and art’s relationship with economic and cultural globalisation.

Module aims

  • On Acts of Writing you will engage with a range of literatures and films from the African continent, Britain, the Caribbean, Ireland, and South Asia.
  • The module is grouped around several major thematic blocks that will allow you to explore colonialism and its aftermath; the creation of national myths; neo-colonialism; productions of race, class and gender identities; postcolonial historiography; representing the margins; and globalisation.
  • You will be invited to consider whether literature and film have developed new modes of expression and aesthetics to accommodate the socio-historical realities resulting from processes of decolonisation, nation building, transnational cooperation and globalisation. You will be expected to read literary and filmic texts in light of key postcolonial political and ethical debates and theories.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Identify and discuss at an advanced level literary and film form
  • 2. Engage at an advanced level with current debates in postcolonial, critical, cultural and world literary theory and relate these to the modes of writing and film production
  • 3. Confidently relate these literary modes to the relevant socio-political and historical contexts
  • 4. Identify and discuss at an advanced level continuities and discontinuities with earlier debates in literary studies, particularly from the first half of the twentieth century

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Demonstrate an advanced ability to analyse the literature and film of different cultures and genres and to relate its concerns and its modes of expression to its historical context
  • 6. Demonstrate an advanced ability to interrelate texts and discourses specific to their own discipline with issues in the wider context of cultural and intellectual history
  • 7. Demonstrate an advanced ability to understand and analyse relevant theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to literary and film texts

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Through session work and presentations, demonstrate advanced communication skills, and an ability to work both individually and in groups
  • 9. Through essay-writing, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, an advanced capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose
  • 10. Through research for sessions, essays and presentations demonstrate advanced proficiency in information retrieval and analysis
  • 11. Through sitting their final examination, demonstrate advanced proficiency in the use of memory and in the development, organisation, and expression of ideas under pressure of time

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • From Colonialism to Decolonisation and Independence
  • Imagined Communities, Nationalism and Neo-Colonialism
  • Race, Class and Gender identities
  • New subjectivities in post-millennial global contexts

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching22Seminars
Scheduled learning and teaching11Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching8Film screenings
Scheduled learning and teaching4Workshops
Guided independent study33Study group preparations and meetings
Guided independent study70Seminar preparation (individual)
Guided independent study152Reading, research and essay preparation

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay453000 words1-4, 5-7, 8-9Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Examination452 hours1-4, 5-7, 11Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Seminar Participation10Ongoing1-7, 8, 10Opportunity for tutorial follow-up

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-4, 5-7, 8-9Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
ExaminationExamination1-4, 5-7, 11Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Seminar participationRepeat Study/Mitigation1-8,10N/a

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core reading:

  • Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (1958)
  • Bessie Head, A Question of Power (1973)
  • Salman Rushdie, Shame (1983)
  • My Beautiful Laundrette, dir. Stephen Frears (1985)
  • Jamaica Kincaid, The Autobiography of My Mother (1996)
  • Ivan Vladislavic, Portrait with Keys: The City of Johannesburg Unlocked (2006)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Vivek Chibber, Postcolonial Theory and the Spectre of Capital (2013)
  • Paul Gilroy, After Empire (2004)
  • C. L. Innes, The Cambridge Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures in English (2007)
  • Neil Lazarus (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies  (2007)
  • Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (1993)

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Film, literature, Britain, Ireland, South Asia, Africa, Caribbean, diasporic writing, post-colonies, contemporary cultures

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