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, you will study (in relation to critical readings from terror and trauma studies) 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
  • the relationship between gender, intimacy and the representation of the body in pain.

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, you will focus more on historical positioning as you progress further into the module.




100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 278 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.