nl en

Confrontations and Confabulations


Admission requirements



This course aims to confront and deconstruct various sets of older as well as recent novels, within a context of border-crossing themes such as: the search for and loss of identity, memory and loss of memory, hope and despair, alienation and cultural interaction, centre and margin, colonialism and racism, domination, betrayal, deception and falsification. Further contrasts to be discussed are those between various cultures (in particular, the British as opposed to the Australian, Pacific, African, Italian, Indian, Japanese and Caribbean), as well as those between past and present, imagination and reality, adults and children, men and women.

Course objectives

Based on the assumption that participants have already acquired the basic skills for the analysis of literary texts, this course aims to extend these skills both in terms of textual analysis (close reading) and contextual approach (cultural-historical as well as theoretical). Students will be encouraged to share analytical and theoretical views on the assigned texts in class discussions, including weekly reading reports, and to focus research skills on a relevant subject of their own choice within the parameters of the course in the form of a final research paper.



Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load: 10 × 28 hours=280 hours

  • Seminars: 40 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 180 hours

  • Final research paper: 60 hours

Assessment method

Assessment: active participation during seminars, including reading reports; a final research paper (ca. 5,000 words)
Weighing: each of the above contributes for 50% to the final mark. The average grade should be sufficient.
Resit: a compensatory oral examination in case of insufficient participation to the seminars; and/or: rewriting the final paper, if necessary.


Blackboard will not be used.

Reading list

In order of the programme:
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Lloyd Jones, Mr Pip
H. Rider Haggard, She
Umberto Eco, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
Rudyard Kipling, Kim
Monica Ali, Brick Lane
Kazuo Ishiguro, An Artist of the Floating World
Andrea Levy, Small Island
Stephen Kelman, Pigeon English


Students need to register in uSis for classes, exams and final papers.

When registering students of the MA Literary studies take priority. The deadline for registration is August 15. All other students should contact the coordinator of studies: Jurjen Donkers

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher: Dr Wim Tigges,.

Administration Office: Van Wijkplaats
Coordinator of Studies Jurjen Donkers


This course is also suitable as a free elective for the ‘Literature in Society. Europe and Beyond’ track. A detailed programme will be sent to participants to their umail address, after registration in uSis.
Maximum number of participants: 20. No new participants will be admitted after the first meeting. This tutor does not supervise Master’s theses.