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Unit information: Contemporary Multi-Ethnic Writing of America in 2021/22

Unit name Contemporary Multi-Ethnic Writing of America
Unit code ENGL20019
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Theo Savvas
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to allow students to develop an appreciation for the diversity of American literature in the later twentieth century. Edward Said observed in Culture and Imperialism that the U.S. at the end of the twentieth century was ‘contrapuntal and often nomadic,’ a ‘porous network rather than a discrete entity’. This unit allows students to explore such diversity through Native American, African American, Asian American, Jewish American and Chicano/a literature from 1970 to the present: and to consider the relationship of these literatures to the dominant mythologies of the United States; the rise of transnationalism in American studies; and the way in which the wedding together of different cultures is reflected in narrative styles. We will consider these texts in a historical and literary-historical framework and students will be encouraged to develop a more expansive understanding of the term “American literature”.

Students will be given the opportunity to submit a draft or outline of their final, summative essay of up to 1,500 words and to receive feedback on this.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have

(1) developed a sound knowledge and critical understanding of the diversity of late twentieth century American literatures;

(2) reflected critically upon the relationship of these literatures to the dominant mythologies of the United States;

(3) developed a more expansive understanding of the term “American literature”;

(4) written critically and analytically upon this literature.

Teaching Information

Teaching will involve asynchronous and synchronous elements, including group discussion, research and writing activities, and peer dialogue. Students are expected to engage with the reading and participate fully with the weekly tasks and topics. Learning will be further supported through the opportunity for individual consultation.

Assessment Information

  • 1 x 3000 word essay (100%) [ILOs 1-4]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ENGL20019).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.