Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: (De)construction of Identities in Literatures and Cultures in English

Course unit code: 569580

Academic year: 2020-2021

Coordinator: Cristina Alsina Risquez

Department: Department of Modern Languages, Modern Literature and English Studies

Credits: 6

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 150


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Cultural trip





-  Seminar





-  Experimental workshop




Supervised project


Independent learning






The subject is taught entirely in English. However, students may also use Catalan or Spanish for presentations and written work.



Competences to be gained during study


Basic and general competences

— Capacity to apply the acquired knowledge to problem-solving in new or relatively unknown environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to the field of study.


— Capacity to interpret texts from different eras and cultural traditions.


— Capacity to develop independent thought: critical and self-critical capabilities, capacity to develop original problem-solving strategies, capacity to generate new ideas, and capacity to delimit an object or field of study in terms of the construction and representation of cultural identities.


— Knowledge forming the basis of original thinking in the development or application of ideas, typically in a research context.


— Capacity to integrate knowledge and tackle the complexity of formulating judgements based on incomplete or limited information, taking due consideration of the social and ethical responsibilities involved in applying knowledge and making judgements.


— Capacity to communicate conclusions, judgements and the grounds on which they have been reached to specialist and non-specialist audiences in a clear and unambiguous manner.


— Skills to enable lifelong self-directed and independent learning.


— Capacity to understand: identification of concepts, problems and key questions in debates on the construction of cultural identities.


— Capacity for reflection: awareness of one’s own thought process, and ability to acknowledge and appraise different theories and points of view in the field of literary and cultural studies.


— Capacity to manage information: capacity to extract and integrate information from different sources, making effective use of libraries, archives, newspaper archives and other resources (particularly digital resources) relevant to research in the humanities.


— Capacity to conduct basic research and monitor recent developments in the international scientific community in the fields of cultural studies, literary studies and gender studies.


— Ability to work in a team (capacity to collaborate with others and contribute to a common project / capacity to work in cross-disciplinary and multicultural teams).


Specific competences

— Interpretation of texts and primary sources related to the genre.


— Capacity to identify and apply literary, sociological and cultural theories that address the theme of identity (with regard to gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, etc.).





Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

• Gain an extensive and in-depth understanding of the strategies of (de)construction of identities in US literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

• Gain an extensive and in-depth understanding of the importance of textual (de)construction of identities in literary studies of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.


• Demonstrate a respect for all reasonably argued and well-founded viewpoints.


Referring to abilities, skills

• Develop the capacity to construct robust, complex arguments that address the state of the art on an international level.
• Develop the capacity to manage information effectively, to identify the literary, sociological and cultural theories and methodologies applicable to specific cases, and to contribute clearly and accurately to discussions of literary and cultural issues.



Teaching blocks


1. Cultural construction and representation of the domestic space

2. Representations of the domestic space in US literature

3. Theoretical analysis of the notion of the domestic space in the frame of contemporary critical thought



Teaching methods and general organization


The general methodology combines theoretical and practical learning, through lectures and practical applied activities which may include directed debates, group work, oral presentations, written assignments and research tasks. 



Official assessment of learning outcomes


Ten 500-word-answer questions (one for each assigned reading) (50%).

A 4,000-word essay to be submitted at the end of the semester (50%).

In addition, each student will do a 10-minute in-class presentation on the assigned reading of their choice. A sign-up sheet with available dates will be distributed the second week of the semester.


Examination-based assessment

Students who are unable to meet the requirements for continuous assessment may change to the single assessment option, in which case a written request must be submitted before the deadline stipulated by the Faculty. 

Single assessment consists of a written essay (4,000 words), assigned by the lecturer, and its oral defence (100% of the final grade).

Repeat assessment

The procedure for repeat assessment is the same as that established for single assessment.



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


Butler, Judith 2004: Undoing Gender. London and New York: Routledge.  EnllaƧ

Butler, Judith 2006: Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence. New York: Verso Books.

Coplan, Amy and Peter Goldie, eds. Empathy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.  EnllaƧ

Fluck, Winfred & Donald E. Pease & John Carlos Rowe (eds): Re-Framing the Transnational Turn in American Studies. Dartmouth College Press

Foucault, Michel 2002 (1969): The Archaeology of Knowledge. London and New York: Routledge.  EnllaƧ

Lauter, Paul, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Vols. 1 & 2. Lexington, Massachusets: Heath, 1994.  EnllaƧ

Peak, Donald E. 2009: New American Excepcionalism. University of Minnesota Press

Sayer, Andrew 2005: The Moral Significance of Class. Cambridge and New YorK. Cambridge University Press.  EnllaƧ

Morley, Catherine. 9/11: Topics in Contemporary North American Literature. Bloomsbury, 2016.