Expanding the Caribbean

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 04 October 2018
Friday 14 December 2018
28 February 2011


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

The extended Caribbean has generated five Nobel Prize winners for literature: the Mississippi-born William Faulkner (1949), Saint-John Perse from Guadeloupe (1960), the Colombian Gabriel García Márquez (1982), Derek Walcott from St Lucia (1992) and the Trinidadian V.S. Naipaul (2001). It has also produced and is still producing a remarkable number of first-rate writers, artists and theorists. This module, which does not assume prior knowledge of Caribbean literature, will explore Caribbean rewritings of European canonical texts whilst investigating some of the reasons behind the vibrancy of Caribbean culture. Students will acquire or deepen their knowledge of canonical texts by approaching them from an exciting perspective and will become acquainted with major poetic, fictional, non-fictional, and dramatic works from the Caribbean, one of the most vibrant and stimulating literary and cultural scenes of today. A close reading of primary texts will be at the centre of our method as we will investigate crucial issues such as the difference between history and myth, the function of memory and imagination, the formation of identity, and the question of language. The criteria to establish which works can be seen as 'Caribbean' texts will be questioned thus making the students participate in and better understand the process of canon formation.

Aims, objectives, and outcomes
This module aims to foster students' critical thinking by inviting them to investigate the reasons why and the ways in which major contemporary writers from the Caribbean have transformed classical texts such as Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre or William Shakespeare's The Tempest. This module will enable students to acquire or deepen their knowledge of canonical texts, to approach European classics from a new and exciting perspective and to become acquainted with major poetic, fictional, non-fictional and dramatic works from the Caribbean. We will be reading Caribbean works firstly within the field of force created by their combination with canonical texts (i.e. Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea will be put in dialogue with Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre) and then within their cultural context (i.e. Derek Walcott's Omeros will be read alongside the healing narrative of a Jamaican cane-cutter). After completion of the module, the students should be able to display a detailed knowledge of the politics and poetics of writing and rewriting, to approach and rethink the Western canon from a creative and critical perspective, to better appreciate the cultural dynamics of canon formation and to engage with the critical debate on contemporary Caribbean literatures.

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

No information available.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly 2 hour seminar


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay (3,000 words)    70% 
Practical   Participation mark    5% 
Practical   Group Presentation (week 11)    25% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
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Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Sean Seeger, email:
Dr Sean Seeger
LiFTS General Office - email Telephone 01206 872626



External examiner

Prof Duncan James Salkeld
University of Chichester
Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature
Available via Moodle
Of 23 hours, 23 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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