Literature and migration

15 credits

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“The heights of modern English literature,” the literary critic Terry Eagleton once claimed, “have been dominated by foreigners and émigrés.” How can the history of English literature be understood through the history of migration? What new styles and forms have emerged to reflect the experiences of exiles, immigrants, asylum-seekers and the undocumented? In his essay “Imaginary Homelands,” Salman Rushdie describes the exiled author as one who “is obliged to deal in broken mirrors, some of whose fragments have been irretrievably lost.” Rushdie’s pronouncement, first made in 1982, is all the more relevant to the literature of the 21st century, as the works of contemporary authors bear witness to accelerating processes of dispossession, precarization and displacement.

This course deals with the literature of migration in the 20th and 21st centuries, from the Windrush generation to the narratives of asylum-seekers and refugees. We consider canonical works of postcolonial literature alongside contemporary authors who challenge and renew the form of the novel in a global context. To analyze this material, we turn to theories of diaspora, cosmopolitanism, aesthetics, hybridity, citizenship and human rights. Authors covered include: Sam Selvon, Buchi Emecheta, Hanif Kureishi, Julia Alvarez, Karen Tei Yamashita, Rabih Alameddine, Brian Chikwava, Kamila Shamsie, Viet Thanh Nguyen and Aminatta Forna.


To study on a distance education will give you different opportunities than on-campus teaching. It means that, to a large extent, you will be able to plan your studies yourself, both in terms of time and place.

However, keep in mind that most distance education includes a number of compulsory digital lectures and digital seminars during the weekdays. Some distance education also include compulsory get-togethers, for which you will have to travel to Växjö or Kalmar.

There are a number of different ways to be a distance student, the common denominator being that a large part of your study work is carried out on the web. You communicate with the teacher and your fellow students using a learning platform with discussion forums, group work, recorded lectures or video meetings using a web cam.

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