Writing in the margins: narrating cross-cultural experience

This module consists of 20 hours over the course of 10 weeks, comprising of a mixture of informal lectures and workshops, and independent showings of films.

The module aims at reviewing a series of narratives by 21st century European-born authors: writers, cinematographers, anthropologists and documentary makers. It not only introduces students to the historical contexts within which each of the narratives is situated, but also explores contemporary theories of identity and writing.

Students are presented with autobiographical accounts, semi-fictional stories, films and documentaries in order to understand the experience of being caught between cultures as a result of travel or involuntary displacement resulting from war or social upheaval. They reflect upon the issues of identity, problems associated with cross-cultural analysis and the relationship between history and personal destiny, border-crossing, cultural fragmentation and continuity. The focus of the module lies on the historical relationship between countries within Europe, and between Europe and other parts of the world; mainly India, North Africa and America.