School of English and Drama

Postcolonial and Global Literatures

The Postcolonial and Global Literatures pathway offers students the opportunity to explore writing from the classic to the contemporary, in postcolonial and global contexts, while studying in the heart of London’s East End with its distinctive histories of migration.

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The pathway draws on our unparalleled academic expertise across this field – Queen Mary’s English department has one of the largest groups of postcolonial and global literary researchers in the UK. We specialize in a variety of regions, such as South Africa, India, Iraq and the Caribbean, among others, with interests that span from the graphic narrative to multilingualism and migrant identities. Our recent publications include work on Present Imperfect (by Andrew van der Vlies), World War I in Mesopotamia (by Nadia Atia), Jewish Women Writers in Britain (edited by Nadia Valman) and Writing British Muslims (by Rehana Ahmed), and we have a number of ongoing and forthcoming projects, including works on Bad English (Rachael Gilmour), Memories of Empire (Bill Schwartz) and Contemporary Partition Literature (Charlotta Salmi). We are also home to Wasafiri, the renowned magazine for International Contemporary Writing, and its New Writing Prize.

One of the pathway’s compulsory modules, ‘Peripheral Modernities’, will give you a thorough grounding in concepts of modernity, globalisation, and culture as viewed from the global peripheries. You will also be able to shape the pathway through our elective modules, whether studying literatures from Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, South Asia and its diasporas, or the East End of London; or exploring interdisciplinary fields like translation studies, cartography, or book history in postcolonial and global contexts. You will have the opportunity to use research resources like the Black Cultural Archive, the George Padmore Institute Archive, and the India Office Records at the British Library.

This is a broad and interdisciplinary pathway, which nevertheless provides a specialized, research-led programme of study ideal for those wishing to go on to pursue PhD study in related fields. The programme also engages with the critical present and provides a wide range of academic and transferable skills allowing graduates to pursue a wide range of career pathways, including teaching, publishing, or working within the cultural industries.

Compulsory modules

Option modules

In 2019/20 we hope to offer the following:

Students can choose to substitute one of their electives with an elective from another pathway within the MA English Literature.

You may, subject to availability and the approval of the School, take one of your option modules from across a range offered by other Schools in the Humanities and Social Science Faculty, or from other Colleges of the University of London.

In addition to taught modules, we run a range of research seminars to which all MA students are invited. Some of these are linked to our interdisciplinary Research Centres, such as the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, the Centre for Religion and Literature in English and the Centre for the History of the Emotions. Others are collaborations with other institutions, such as the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar. With visiting speakers from across the world, these seminars are an opportunity to meet other postgraduate students and members of staff and to learn about the latest developments in research.