SCHOOL OF ENGLISH LITERATURE, LANGUAGE & LINGUISTICS
Resit Essay Questions 2015-16
SEL2205: Fictions of Migration
Module Leader: Fionnghuala Sweeney
Choose any one of the following questions. Your essay must show detailed knowledge of at least two texts studied on the course.
Your essay counts for 75% of the marks on this module. It will be marked according to the School’s Criteria of Assessment.
You should avoid significant duplication of material across any of your assessments.
Essays must be not more than 3000 words (plus or minus 10%), including footnotes and quotations but excluding bibliography and any diagrams or tables, and must be presented according to the conventions on using and acknowledging material set out in the School Style Guide. Please also observe the instructions in the ‘Guidelines’ section in the Style Guide.
Please write your student number, but not your name, on your essay.
You should hand in one hard copy and one electronic copy, submitted through Turnitin, which must contain:
- a) a statement of the number of words
- b) bibliography of works used
- c) a declaration in the following form:
I hereby certify that this submission is wholly my own work, and that all quotations from primary or secondary sources have been acknowledged. I have read the section on Plagiarism in the School Style Guide / my Stage & Degree Manual and understand that plagiarism and other unacknowledged debts will be penalised and may lead to failure in the whole examination or degree.
Note: In order to preserve anonymity, this is not signed.
You also need to add a Feedback cover-sheet, available outside the School Office and your Turnitin receipt. Your essay should be printed out double-sided in order to save paper; if you forget, please do NOT re-print, but hand in a single-sided copy.
Work must be handed in between 10am and 4 pm on Monday 22nd August; see the School Undergraduate Handbook, “Handing in Submitted Work” for further details (p. 8). Submissions after the 4pm deadline will be deemed late and capped at 40%. This is draconian but is university policy.
SCHOOL OF ENGLISH LITERATURE, LANGUAGE & LINGUISTICS
ESSAY PRESENTATION CHECKLIST
Essays must be presented according to the conventions set out in the School Guidelines. You will find these in your Stage and Degree Programme Manuals. Copies are also available in the Student Resource Centre.
Since the criteria for awarding marks explicitly includes the following, you might like to check that you have in fact taken them into account.
- Accurate English: grammar, syntax, no sentence fragments,
correct punctuation. ÿ Tick
- Layout: Margins, double-spaced lines, pages numbered and bearing
your student number, paragraphs clearly indicated by indentation or
line-space. ÿ Tick
- Spelling and proof-reading: Spellcheck used if available; essay
read through for things the Spellcheck won’t spot; correct use of
apostrophe to mark possessives and omission of letters (e.g. its
and it’s; society’s and societies). ÿ Tick
- Quotations: Short quotations and longer quotations handled
correctly as in the School guidelines. ÿ Tick
- Titles, referencing and notes: Titles, references and notes
as School guidelines. All quotations referenced. ÿ Tick
- Bibliography: in alphabetical order of author; all required
information in the right order and punctuated correctly. ÿ Tick
- ‘The contemplation of the black presence is central to any understanding of our national literature and should not be permitted to hover at the margins of the literary imagination.’ Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, (1992).
How does any ‘black presence’ in the fictions on this module prove not just central to understandings of national literature, but complicate the very possibility of the ‘national’ as a stable symbolic system?
- How does the ‘Caribbean’ writing on the syllabus engage with the region as the product of western modernity?
- How does the fiction on the module represent gender, sexuality or kinship in the literature you have encountered on this course?
- Discuss the implications of English as a “postcolonial language” as used by writers covered on this module.
- “Although the ‘unhomely’ is a paradigmatic colonial and post-colonial condition, it has a resonance that can be heard distinctly, if erratically, in fictions that negotiate the powers of cultural difference across a range of transhistorical sites” (Homi Bhabha, “Introduction”, The Location of Culture, p. 9). Discuss the “unhomely” in fictions of migration, with reference to essays by Bhabha and Freud (on Blackboard).
- What relationship is established between narrative and memory in the fiction on the syllabus?
- ”The stereotype is a complex, ambivalent, contradictory mode of representation, as anxious as it is assertive” (Homi Bhabha, “The Stereotype”, The Location of Culture, p. 70). Drawing on Bhabha’s essay, discuss the ways in which stereotypes are marshalled to subversive purpose in two texts on this course.
- How is ‘whiteness’ represented in the literature studied on the module?
- How do the texts on the module use literary form to complement and complicate their thematic focus on movement, migration and diaspora.
- What relationship is established between the local and the global as cultures migrate across the world? Discuss with specific reference to your chosen primary texts.
Primary texts to choose from !!! :
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea, Penguin Modern Classics
Caryl Phillips, Cambridge, Penguin
Toni Morrison, Beloved, Chatto and Windus
Samuel Selvon, Ways of Sunlight, Longman (I recommend)
Earl Lovelace, Dragon Can’t Dance, Faber and Faber
Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North, Penguin
Hari Kunzru, Transmission, Penguin
Mohsin Hamid The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Penguin