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Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedSouth Africa Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Priscilla Reshmi Appama and Pier Paolo Frassinelli


Previously coded CLS2760


'Diaspora' and 'Transnationalism' are more than ever topical in our contemporary world where 'globalization' is a popular notion that is meaningful and meaningless at the same time. Using a variety of materials, this unit will look at how the notions of belonging and identity (ethnic, cultural, national, global and so on) have been and are being interpreted, constructed and understood in relation to other concepts such as the nation, national territories/ boundaries and migration in a moving world.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of and familiarity with the following types of information, academic perspectives and skills:

  1. Demonstration of a critical awareness of the ways in which different types of materials encourage us to interpret, construct and understand the notions of identity and belonging in relation to other concepts such as the nation, national boundaries and the global world.
  2. A better understanding of diaspora and transnationalism related issues and how they relate to our contemporary world.
  3. Appreciation of the significance of the various documents' constructions of diasporic or transnational identity/ representation within their socio-cultural and historical contexts.
  4. Ability to perform a close analysis of the different types of documents used, i.e., in case of a literary text, he should be able to demonstrate a sensitivity to the particular devices, language and strategies employed.
  5. Demonstration of an awareness and understanding of the major theoretical approaches in Cultural Studies within academic debate in Africa and internationally.
  6. Ability to employ those and evaluate such theoretical approaches in an interpretation of the various documents used in this unit.
  7. Intellectual familiarity with the different critical concepts relevant to the unit: colonialism, post-colonialism, post-modernism, cosmopolitanism, nationalism, transnationalism, globalization, traveling cultures, migration, diasporas, authenticity, endogeny, exogeny and so on.
  8. Students undertaking this unit at a 3rd year level will be expected to meet all these objective criteria at a higher level of demonstrable and proven competency than those completing the unit at a 2nd year level.


Short essay (1000 words): 20%
Long essay (2000 words): 50%
Exam (2hrs) : 30%

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar per week