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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Water and World Literature (ENLI10399)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryOur environmental crisis is a crisis of water: too much, or not enough. Climate change threatens sea level rises, floods and drought. This course asks: what does it mean to write about water in an age of crisis? And how might modern and contemporary literature offer alternative ways of living with water?
Course description Water is fundamental to life on earth, yet it is threatened by climate change, contamination and overuse. Water also flows through literary texts, which tell us about how water has been imagined in different times and places. Literature offers rich resources for understanding and rethinking our relationships with water to create more sustainable ways of life. On this module, we will read a range of modern and contemporary texts that address water in different forms, which may include the ocean, rivers, lakes, rain, ice and springs. Infrastructure will be a key theme, with topics potentially including urban water systems, hydroelectric dams, canals, irrigation, and the ports and ships that underpin the global economy. We will examine human relationships with water in different global contexts, including the social and cultural meanings of water, the impacts of disasters, drought and pollution, and struggles for water justice. We will also explore how water might allow us to think beyond the human, examining representations of aquatic animals. Students will gain an introduction to current debates in environmental politics and thought through focusing on the vital theme of water.
The module will consider a range of forms, which may include novels, poetry, short stories, plays and graphic novels, predominantly from the late twentieth and twenty-first century. Students will gain an understanding of key theories and methods in postcolonial studies, ecocriticism and the Environmental Humanities. We will also read work from disciplines including cultural geography, political ecology, science and technology studies, and anthropology.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Literary Studies 1A (ENLI08020) AND Literary Studies 1B (ENLI08021) AND Literary Studies 2A: English Literature in the World, 1380-1788 (ENLI08024) AND Literary Studies 2B: English Literature in the World, post-1789 (ENLI08025)) OR ( English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016) AND English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Essential course texts
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesA MINIMUM of 4 college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as cross disciplinary, "Freshman Seminars", civilisation or creative writing classes are not considered for admission to this course.
Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course having four or more literature classes at grade A.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One Coursework Essay of 2,500 words: 30%
One time-limited Final Essay of 3000 words: 60%
Class Participation Assessment: 10%
Feedback Detailed written feedback will be provided on each element of assessment, and further oral follow up feedback from the tutor
will be available from anybody who would like it.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Construct original and clear arguments that demonstrate an understanding of literary depictions of ecological and social crises in postcolonial and critical ocean studies contexts.
  2. Analyse world ocean literatures using critical theoretical methodologies such as ecocriticism, postcolonial studies and world literature to substantiate and illustrate those arguments.
  3. Extrapolate, evaluate and assess ideas from a range of critical sources in order to bring them to bear on their analyses of world ocean literature.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to apply skills of close reading and of comparative analysis that rejects a critical understanding of similarities and differences across and between texts, genres and spaces.
  5. Orally present the results of research undertaken individually and as part of a small group, respond judiciously to such research undertaken by others, and critically evaluate the importance of such material for an understanding of the chief themes of the course.
Reading List
Bacigalupi, Paolo, The Water Knife (London: Orbit, 2015)
Ghosh, Amitav, The Hungry Tide (London: HarperCollins, 2004)
Okorafor, Nnedi, Lagoon (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2014)
Oswald, Alice, Dart (London: Faber and Faber, 2002)
Paul, Lalline, Pod (London: Corsair, 2022)
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills As an outcome of having studied this course, students will benefit from having developed a range of personal and professional
skills commensurate with the range of SCQF Level 10 characteristics:
Knowledge and understanding: students will have had the opportunity to demonstrate their critical understanding of a range of
literatures and theoretical concepts and to relate their concerns and modes of expression to their cultural, political, social and
critical contexts.
Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding: in their work for class discussion, presentations and formal assessment tasks,
students will have been able to practice the application of these theories and concepts in their construction of arguments about
the course material and to situate these arguments in the wider context of cultural and intellectual history.
Generic Cognitive Skills: in completing assessed essays and class presentations, students will have practised identifying, defining,
conceptualising and analysing complex problems and issues germane to the discipline.
Communication: through participating in these tasks students will also have demonstrated the ability to communicate ideas and
information about specialised topics in the discipline to an informed audience of their peers and subject specialists.
Autonomy and Working with Others: students will also have shown the capacity to work autonomously and in small groups on
designated tasks, develop new thinking with their peers, and take responsibility for the reporting, analysis and defence of these
ideas to a larger group.
Additional Class Delivery Information One two hour seminar per week for 10 weeks plus a one hour autonomous learning group per week at a time to be arranged.
KeywordsWorld Literature,Blue Humanities,Ecocriticism,Postcolonial Studies
Course organiserDr Hannah Boast
Course secretaryMrs Lina Gordyshevskaya
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