ENMCHCW-Commonwealth Children’s Literature (Colonial and Post-colonial writing)

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Sue Walsh

Email: s.a.b.walsh@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module aims to examine a range of texts from, or set in, selected Commonwealth countries (India, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and an Anglophone African country such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya or Uganda) by authors writing in both colonial and post-colonial contexts in order to consider issues such as: how far can these texts be related to one another through their use of generic conventions (for example, in realistic fiction or fantasy)? How far can the literature be related to national cultures and what constitutes national and cultural identity? How do critics define this, and how do they relate it to the reading of texts, or to notions of ‘literary history’ or genre? What issues are thrown up by the presentation of different languages and cultures in these texts? How are ideas of ‘society’, ‘culture’, or ‘history’ used in criticism to produce ideas of identity and ‘read’ texts as relevant to such identities? How useful is post-colonial literary criticism and theory for reading these texts? What are the implications of debates about ‘authenticity’ in relation to the representation of indigenous peoples and cultures in these texts?
Note: the final choice of authors and works will depend upon the availability of texts in Britain.

Aims:
This module aims to examine a range of texts from, or set in, selected Commonwealth countries (India, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and an Anglophone African country such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya or Uganda) by authors writing in both colonial and post-colonial contexts in order to consider issues such as: how far can these texts be related to one another through their use of generic conventions (for example, in realistic fiction or fantasy)? How far can the literature be related to national cultures and what constitutes national and cultural identity? How do critics define this, and how do they relate it to the reading of texts, or to notions of ‘literary history’ or genre? What issues are thrown up by the presentation of different languages and cultures in these texts? How are ideas of ‘society’, ‘culture’, or ‘history’ used in criticism to produce ideas of identity and ‘read’ texts as relevant to such identities? How useful is post-colonial literary criticism and theory for reading these texts? What are the implications of debates about ‘authenticity’ in relation to the representation of indigenous peoples and cultures in these texts? Note: the final choice of authors and works will depend upon the availability of texts in Britain.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students must produce a 2500-3000 word essay considering a selection of texts and/or issues in relation to ideas of national and cultural identity and children’s literature. The essay must demonstrate an awareness of relevant theoretical issues and questions, and of how these issues might be included and formulated in the writing of the essay. The essay must therefore demonstrate too the student’s ability to reflect on their own critical practices and assumptions, and their ability to revise and adjust their thinking and writing in the light of this reflection.

Additional outcomes:
In addition to the above, students will:
1)be able to formulate questions and recognise relevant problems and complexities.
2)be able to examine and question their own assumptions, arguments and choices of critical languages.
3)be able to analyse arguments made by others in terms of their assumptions and claims, including those of their tutor.
4)be able to read any text - fictional, critical, or non-fictional - closely and be able to analyse its precise use of language.
5)be able to think out loud and engage in peer-group discussion and debate.
6)be able to question notions of authority and think in an independent manner relevant to their own development.

Outline content:
The module concentrates on writing about India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and an Anglophone African country such as Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya or Uganda. This is likely to include work by some of the following writers: R.M. Ballantyne, G.A. Henty, Peggy Appiah, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Chio Enwonwu, Rudyard Kipling, Dhan Ghopal Mukerji, Ruskin Bond, L.M. Montgomery, Ernest Thompson Seton, Norman Lindsay, Patricia Wrightson, Nadia Wheatley, Morris Gleitzman, Ruth Park, Margaret Mahy, Jean Little, and Janet Lunn. Problems to be considered include: how far can these texts be related to one another through their use of generic conventions (for example, realistic fiction or fantasy)? How far can the literature be related to national cultures and what constitutes national and cultural identity? How do critics define this, and how do they relate it to the reading of texts, or to notions of ‘literary history’ or genre? How are ideas of ‘society’, ‘culture’, or ‘history’ used in criticism to produce ideas of identity and ‘read’ texts as relevant to such identities? How useful is post-colonial literary criticism and theory for reading these texts? Note: the final choice of authors and works will depend upon the availability of texts in Britain.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module consists of eleven once-weekly classes of one hour’s duration. Classes consist of seminars with tutor-led group discussion.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 11
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study: 88
       
Total hours by term 10
       
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
Not applicable.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
One 2500-3000 word piece of written work (submission date is subject to staff-student committee confirmation every year).

Formative assessment methods:
Formative assessment consists of feedback on seminar participation and extensive feedback on all written work

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
If the student submits an unsatisfactory coursework essay or assignment, the student will be allowed to re-submit the piece once more after tutorial consultation. If the student is required to be re-examined on the coursework essays, they may be permitted one calendar month’s extension for the subsequent submission of the dissertation.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 10 April 2019

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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