Multi Ethnic American Fiction module (EN31006)

Learn about the rich literary traditions within American culture from the 1990s to the present by studying award-winning authors

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Using literary and contextual analysis, this module studies issues of race, gender, sexuality, immigration, and city life in contemporary American fiction. We read stories by authors from groups that include Native Americans, African Americans, Latinx authors, and Asian Americans.

We focus on a series of award-winning and very engaging texts published between the 1990s and the present, while analysing how each author imagines and represents the lives of people who are trying to find their identity and their place within the American Dream.

One distinctive element of the module is that it also teaches you how to engage with audiences outside of the academic environment using book reviews, social media, and other formats.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • learn about American literature written by people from diverse ethnic backgrounds
  • examine changes in attitudes and writing styles from the 1990s to the present
  • learn how to communicate your knowledge to non-academic audiences

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • analyse a range of texts in relation to their narrative content, genre, and form
  • analyse contemporary texts, particularly in relation to issues of identity
  • demonstrate a keen understanding of debates on ethnicity, gender, and race
  • communicate your knowledge in an engaging manner

Assignments / assessment

  • close reading essay - 2,000 words (30%)
  • essay - 3,000 words (50%)
  • portfolio for non-specialist audiences (20%)

Teaching methods / timetable

  • lectures
    • will present background information and introduce you to key concepts
  • seminars
    • will allow for group work and student discussion.
    • will also focus on how to communicate to non-academic audiences
    • learn how to write essays at Honours level.


This module is available on following courses: