Bearing Witness: Terror and Trauma in Global Literature (947Q3A)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

The module explores the representation of terror, trauma and testimonial address in a range of contemporary international literary texts. Through a textual and contextual study of these works, key issues such as the non-narratability of trauma, the ethics of speaking for the other, the intersection between the politics of reading, writing and bearing witness, the creation of cross-cultural communities in the representation and reading of trauma, and the relationship between gender, intimacy and the representation of the body in pain, will be studied in relation to critical readings from terror and trauma studies.

The range of literary texts reflects the global cultural reach of the module, from postcolonial texts from a wide range of cultural locations to literatures that engage with critical discourses generated by the Holocaust and the War on Terror. Opening with an emphasis on cross-cultural connections and critical readings, the focus on historical positioning becomes more pronounced as the module proceeds.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

We’re currently reviewing contact hours for modules and will update with further information as soon as it is available.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: