Literary history is often told in epochs. In particular, it can be useful to understand the world in relation to some or other idea of “modernity”: for example, English literary studies is often organised through conceptions of the early modern, the modern, and the post-modern. But many influential constructions of modernity assume and promote Eurocentric ideas of progress, development, and history. This module invites you to interrogate these ideas. The module begins with work that reveals the cultures of violence and inequity that are instituted by imperialist constructions of modernity and civilisation. You will then learn to work with debates that have been conducted through formulations of ‘postcolonial studies’, ‘subaltern studies’, ‘diaspora studies’, ‘world systems’, ‘history wars’, ‘world literature’ and ‘decolonisation’. Across the module, you will explore fictions of various genres from Africa, the Americas, Australia and other parts of the world, and you will consider the importance of literature to debates about race, law, identity, belonging, political and economic geography, and citizenship.