Singapore University of Social Sciences

Contemporary Literature

Contemporary Literature (ELT376)


This course examines contemporary literature, focusing on works written in the past fifty years by women authors. Through the exploration of diverse genres such as (semi)autobiography, magical realism, and creative reimaginings of fairy tales, students will delve into the rich narrative styles and thematic concerns present in the works of Angela Carter, Toni Morrison, Jeanette Winterson, Arundhati Roy, and other prominent female writers. The course critically examines themes of culture, race, sexuality, identity, caste, and imperialism as depicted in these literary works, offering insights into the evolving landscape of contemporary literature and its significance in addressing pressing societal issues.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY


  • Women’s Writing and the Contemporary; Finding a Female Literary Tradition
  • Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber
  • Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
  • Toni Morrison’s Beloved
  • Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things
  • Making Connections Across Carter, Winterson, Morrison, and Roy

Learning Outcome

  • Demonstrate the use of close reading skills to examine literary style and thematic issues in contemporary writing by women.
  • Analyse the impact of literary innovations in contemporary writing by women.
  • Show the relevance of the social, political, and ideological context of contemporary writing, particularly in writing by women.
  • Formulate a critical overview of the key ideas and challenges that characterise contemporary writing by women.
  • Examine the validity of arguments in the secondary critical and theoretical material.
  • Compose academic essays that employ the appropriate skills in scholarly research, writing, and citation.
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