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Twenty-First Century Feminist Fiction and the World in Crisis


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Tutor: to be confirmed
  • Assessment: a 5000-word essay (100%)

Module description

This module examines the shape of twenty-first-century feminism in and beyond fiction. Focusing on representations of ‘crisis’ in writings by women since 2000 it considers how lived experience is represented in fiction, memoir and graphic narratives. The module addresses current literary and theoretical concerns with the intersections between gender, representation and politics. It deals with fiction and non-fiction from a wide range of contexts including established authors and recognised genres alongside new writers and emerging forms. What this material has in common is a renewed focus on the role of individual accounts in collective narratives of past and present, and a heightened awareness of the relationship between the local and the global.


  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (2013)
  • Sara Ahmed, Living A Feminist Life (2016)
  • Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)
  • Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (2006)
  • Sarah Hall, The Carhullan Army (2007)
  • Juliet Jacques, Trans: A Memoir (2015)
  • Kamila Shamsie, Home Fire (2017)
  • Una, Becoming Unbecoming (2015)

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • identify key themes and concerns in twenty-first-century fiction by women
  • relate the literary debates to major critical debates within postcolonial, queer, trans and feminist theory
  • articulate a critical understanding of the changing shape of feminism and the literary archive