Global Opportunities

SEL3388 : Caribbean-U.S. Cultures (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


As well as serving as a significant source of its labour and migration, the Caribbean has exerted a powerful cultural influence over the U.S.A. This module aims to introduce students to a variety of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Caribbean-U.S. literary and cultural production. Ranging from Trinidad to New York and from early zombie cinema to reggae and hip hop, the module explores a range of art, film, literature and music that has emerged from and been popularised by Caribbean and U.S. cross-cultural exchange. Focusing on African American and Caribbean American cultural encounters in particular, it explores ways in which such shared creative expression has often served as a vehicle for political protest and resistance. The module interrogates tendencies to lump together Caribbean-U.S. and African American histories and artistic traditions by introducing students to the geographical, linguistic and ethnic diversity of Caribbean cultural production. It also investigates ways in which Caribbean and Caribbean-derived cultural and spiritual practices have been represented in the mainstream U.S. imagination and attitudes to race, gender, sexuality, class and nationhood as they relate to the Caribbean-U.S. experience.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module examines a range of literary, visual and oral texts that explore both the U.S.’s neo-imperial influence over the Caribbean and the Caribbean’s cultural impact on the U.S. The texts featured on the module will vary from year to year, but in the past have included “Harlem Renaissance” writers Zora Neale Hurston and Claude McKay, Hollywood- and calypso-star Harry Belafonte, reggae icon Bob Marley, hip-hop developers Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion176:0076:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading180:0080:00This activity includes two 2-hour film viewings
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity111:0011:00Students are required to meet in study groups once per week
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce key methodological and theoretical concepts for the study of contemporary cultures. The two-hour, workshop-style seminars build on this foundation. The seminars allow students to respond to the texts and ideas they have encountered in the lectures and their own independent reading, and through preparatory work conducted in student-led study groups. Drop-in/surgery time provides additional space for students to follow up on aspects of the module one-to-one.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2A15Participation in class activities
Essay2A853000 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay2M1500-word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The end-of semester essay asks for the development of a fluently written, cogent argument, developed in long form, which addresses the key questions of the module. The formative assessment offers directed support for the development of the end-of-semester essay. The assessment of participation in small group teaching activities encourages students to engage consistently with all aspects of the module.

Reading Lists