War, Violence and Conflict in the American Tropics

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
09 May 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MA T72012 American Literatures

Module description

This module is concerned with an area known as the "American Tropics" (the Caribbean islands, the Caribbean littoral of Central America, the US South, and northern South America). European powers fought extensively here against indigenous populations and against each other for control of land and resources.

The regions in the American Tropics share a history in which the dominant fact is the arrival of millions of white Europeans and Black Africans; share an environment that is tropical or sub-tropical; and share a socio-economic model (the plantation) whose effects lasted at least well into the twentieth century.

The imaginative space of the American Tropics offers a differently centred literary history from those conventionally produced as US, Caribbean, or Latin American literature and this module introduces cultural geography into literary history by offering two or three (depending on staff availability) case studies of texts associated with nodal places in the American Tropics.

This module is a logical extension of Professor Maria Cristina Fumagalli's, Dr Owen Robinson's and Dr Jak Peake's involvement in the AHRC-funded research project called America Tropics: Towards a Literary Geography (2006-2011).

This project's approach to literary history is through 'place' rather than 'nation state' or 'language' because of the complexity of the literary history of the Americas, especially in those areas where more than one European power (and therefore language) had influence. From within the region of the 'American Tropics,' a broad region from Charleston to Bahia, Maria Cristina Fumagalli, Owen Robinson and Jak Peake have chosen three case studies (respectively, the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, New Orleans and Western Trinidad), giving serious consideration to the writing associated with those places, irrespective of the language or national origin of the writers. The outcomes of this project are five monographs:

Peter Hulme, Cuba's Wild East: Towards a Literary Geography (2011) Lesley Wylie, Colombia's Forgotten Frontier: Towards a Literary Geography (2013) Maria Cristina Fumagalli, On the Edge: Writing the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic (2015)
Owen Robinson, Myriad City: Towards a Literary Geography of New Orleans (2016).
Jak Peake, Between the Bocas: A Literary Geography of Western Trinidad (2016)
and an edited collection entitled Surveying the American Tropics: A Literary Geography from New York To Rio (2013)
all published in The American Tropics Series of Liverpool University Press for which Maria Cristina Fumagalli and Owen Robinson are amongst the editors.

Module aims

This module aims to foster students' critical thinking by inviting them to investigate American literatures and the 'American' paradigm from a broader perspective. After completion of the module students should be able to display a detailed knowledge of major texts of the vibrant and diverse literature originating from the specific context of the American Tropics.

Module learning outcomes

After completion of the module students should be able to display a detailed knowledge of major texts of the vibrant and diverse literature originating from the specific context of the American Tropics.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be taught via weekly seminars of two hours each


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Oral Presentation    15% 
Coursework   Essay (5,000 words)    85% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Owen Robinson, email:
Dr Owen Robinson, Dr Sean Seeger
LiFTS Taught Team - email Telephone 01206 872626



External examiner

Dr Rebecca Katherine Tillett
The University of East Anglia
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 24 hours, 8 (33.3%) hours available to students:
16 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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