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Contemporary Literature and Culture MA

Contemporary Literature and Culture MA

Different course options

Full time | Birkbeck, University of London | 1 year | 02-OCT-23

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Cultural Studies Literature

Course type


Course Summary


Our MA Contemporary Literature and Culture (2000-present) offers you the chance to specialise in twenty-first-century literature and culture, as well as exposing you to the most important literary and theoretical developments of the last few decades.

Informed by our world-class research in contemporary literary and cultural studies, on this course you will examine:

the effects of new technologies on narrative form

the aesthetic, spatial and political coordinates of writing produced in an increasingly networked and globalised world

literature’s role among a vibrant and diverse range of digital, visual and multimedia texts.

You will develop your expertise in key topics, such as: migrants’ narratives and refugee film-making; precarity fiction and emergent pandemic storytelling; anti-gentrification zines and the low-fi aesthetics of resistance; nonhuman forms of agency; post-gender feminism; the relationship of genres such as science fiction, horror and the fantastic to literary fiction; trans aesthetics in film and TV; African American poetry and performance; contemporary black aesthetics.

This MA also gives you the opportunity to pursue your own interests, whether they lie in contemporary poetics; in African American culture, or indigenous futurisms; in literary and cultural responses to environmental crisis; in the changing forms of the book in a digital age; or in historical approaches to issues like nation, race, gender and sexuality.


This course introduces students to a range of contemporary literary, cinematic, visual and theoretical works published since 2000, tracing some of the major developments in contemporary world literatures at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Taking in poetry, film, travel writing, memoir, journalism, the short story, the novel, the graphic novel, science fiction and digital culture, this course explores the meanings and characteristics of the 'contemporary' via a focus on categories like hybridity, performance, trauma, memory and the uncanny - terms that have been major preoccupations of cultural production in the last 2 decades.
Dissertation - MA Contemporary Literature and Culture - Core

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification. Your first degree does not have to be in English Literature.

University information

Birkbeck, University of London is a university which continues to change lives. In 2023 the institution marks its 200th anniversary. Established in 1823, Birkbeck is a world-class research and teaching institution, well known for being London’s premier evening university. Most classes take place in the evening, and this makes Birkbeck stand out from the crowd. Students have the freedom to use their daytimes however they like – a benefit that has...more