The city & the country; space & place; the local; interiors & exteriors; travel; urban studies; public space; home.




To introduce students to the multiple forms and functions of place in literary texts. Students will be able to discuss and analyze the personal, social and cultural impact of place on issues such as readership, genre, gender, social justice and ethnicity.  Through active participation in discussion and listening, students will gain the ability and language necessary to understand different possibilities and diverse perspectives both in the literature and amongst each other.  




3 hours a week. In order to explore the critical and cultural framework of these examples of contemporary literature, the session may consist of group and class discussion, mini-lectures, writing workshops, student-led presentations and other discussion-based activities. This course is discussion-based and can be reading intensive, so, to facilitate reading and preparation for class discussion, students may sometimes be provided with reading guides or questions. Students are encouraged to plan ahead – do not leave reading up to the last minute! As class meets only once a week, attendance is mandatory.




Assessment for the course is 100% coursework.  This is made up of:

  1. Class participation (includes attendance, group and class discussion, student-led presentations) (25%)
  2. A short, close-reading paper (25%)
  3. A piece of creative place-writing plus critical commentary (20%)
  4. A final research paper (30%)




Required texts:
1.  Dung Kai-Cheung. Atlas: The Archeology of an Imaginary City, Columbia U.P. (2013)
2.  Donaghue, Emma.  Room, Little, Brown & Co. (2010)
3.  Hendrix, Grady. Horrorstor, Quirk Books (2016).
4.  Tan, Shaun. The Arrival, Hodder (2006).
A selection of essays and short excerpts from secondary critical works will be uploaded by the instructor and made available to students on Moodle.



Last updated: 8 July 2019