Module Catalogue 2021/22

SEL3388 : Caribbean-U.S. Cultures

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Hannah Durkin
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
SEL1030Close Reading
Pre Requisite Comment

This is the core methodological module covering literary and film criticism.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

N/A

Aims

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.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of the module, students will be acquainted with some of the major historical and cultural relationships between the Caribbean and U.S.A. In particular, they will have:

1.       An overview of key themes and developments in Caribbean-U.S. literature and culture and their surrounding socio-historical contexts;

2.       A broader understanding of “American” history and culture through analysis of significant Caribbean influences on U.S. creative expression and intellectual thought;

3.       An understanding of the role of popular culture in shaping ideas about race, nationhood, class and gender;

4.       An understanding of the relationship between Caribbean and Caribbean-derived artistry and political protest;
Knowledge of a range of cultural forms and literary genres.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should have developed:

1.       Interdisciplinary study skills through close scrutiny of a range of visual, textual and musical sources;

2.       Advanced research skills through engagement with a variety of archival sources, including newspapers, magazines, film posters and author interviews;

3.       Advanced writing skills through a combination of formative and summative assessment activities;

4.       An understanding of how to engage critically with secondary material;

5.       An ability to assess and learn from the work of their peers;

6.       Debating skills through participation in class activities;

7.       The ability to work collaboratively by participating in group study tasks.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion170:0070:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading175:0075:00This activity includes two 2-hour film viewings
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity111:0011:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time111:0011:00N/A
Total200:00
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.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

N/A

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2021/22 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2022/23 entry will be published here in early-April 2022. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.