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EN2G5/EN3G5 Disasters and the British Contemporary

NOTE: This module is being reconstructed for 2023-24 - more information and a detailed syllabus will follow in the coming days and weeks.

The module looks at speculative fiction in British Union and Empire and suggests ways of putting it in its time (this is what 'contemporary' means here), and ways in which it might relate to today's concerns.

You do not need any previous knowledge of politics or history, and you can view the module as 'long twentieth century fiction' if you like.

There will be one 90-minute seminar a week, and no lecture.

Assessment will be by two 4000 word or two 5000 word essays, with sample titles given, but a recommendation that students choose their own titles.

Titles to read will include: H.G. Wells, The World Set Free; John Wyndham, The Chrysalids; Aldous Huxley, Brave New World; Doris Lessing, Memoirs of a Survivor; Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange; John Rowe Townsend, Noah's Castle; dir. Derek Jarman, Jubilee; dir. Peter Watkins, The War Game; John Christopher, The Death of Grass; Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker; Robert Moss, The Collapse of Democracy; Byung-Chul Han, The Transparency Society; Michael Young, The Rise of the Meritocracy; wr. Peter Dickinson and Anna Home, dir. Anna Home, The Changes; wr. P.D. James, wr. and dir. Anfonso Cuaron, Children of Men

An additional reading list has been left below, but please note that this will change substantially.

Anthony Burgess, The Wanting Seed (1962)
J.G. Ballard, 'Billennium' (1962)
HMSO, Education Act 1944: 
Anthony Crosland, The Future of Socialism (1956)
Stuart Hall et al, ‘The Insiders’ series, Universities and Left Review (1957): 
Aldous Huxley, Island (1962)
Wr. and dir. Nigel Kneale, Quatermass and the Pit (1958-59) (Box of Broadcasts)
Vernon Bogdanor and Robert Skidelsky, The Age of Affluence (1970)
David Kynaston, Austerity Britain, 1945-1951 (2007)
Ken Loach, The Spirit of '45 (2013) (Box of Broadcasts)
dir. Danny Boyle, Olympics Opening Ceremony 2012 (online platforms)
Wr. and dir. Adam Curtis, The Living Dead ep.3, 'The Attic' (1995) (online platforms)
Maurice Blanchot, The Writing of the Disaster (1986)
David Seed, Future Wars: the Anticipations and the Fears (2012) (ebook through Warwick library)
Andrew Hammond, 'The Twilight of Utopia: British Dystopian Fiction and the Cold War' (2011) (JSTOR)
Adam Piette, Literary Cold War: 1945 to Vietnam (2009) (ebook through Warwick library)

Adrian Mitchell, The Bodyguard (1972)
Frank Kitson, Low Intensity Operations (1971)
Wr. and dir. Terry Nation, Survivors series one (1975) (online platforms)
wr. Anthony Schaffer, dir. Robin Hardy, The Wicker Man (1973) (Box of Broadcasts)
Jon Savage, England’s Dreaming (1991)
Stephen Haseler, The Death of British Democracy (1975)
Tom Nairn, The Break-up of Britain (1977)
The Ecologist magazine: 
John Seymour, Self-Sufficiency (1976)
BBC Panorama, ‘Millwall’ (1977) (online platforms)
Andy Beckett, When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies (2009)
Francis Wheen, Strange Days Indeed: The Golden Age of Paranoia (2010)
Wr. Anthony Burgess, dir. Stanley Kubrick, A Clockwork Orange (1971) (Box of Broadcasts)
Barry Penrose and Roger Courtiour, The Pencourt File (1977)
BBC Panorama, ‘Sandhurst’ (1975) (online platforms)
Stephen Milligan, The New Barons: Union Power in the 1970s (1975)
Tariq Ali, The Coming British Revolution (1972)
Patrick Hutber, The Decline of the Middle Class (1975)
John Medhurst, That Option No Longer Exists: 1974-76 (2015)
BBC, The Plot Against Harold Wilson (2006) (online platforms)
Richard Littler, Discovering Scarfolk (2014)
Giorgio Agamben, State of Exception (2005) (ebook through Warwick library)
Chris Mullin, A Very British Coup (1982)
ed. Robert Moss, We Will Bury You (1970)
John Christopher, Empty World (1977)
wr. Nigel Kneale, dir. Peirs Haggard, Quatermass ('Quatermass: Ringstone Round'/ 'Quatermass IV') (1979)
Doomwatch series 1-3: surviving episodes recently made available (patchy availability apart from DVD)
Lee Edelman, No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (2004) (ebook through Warwick library)
Rebekah Sheldon, The Child to Come: Life After the Human Catatrophe (2017) (ebook through Warwick library)

HMSO, Protect and Survive (1980), copied at: 
E.P. Thompson/ CND, Protest and Survive (1980)
ed. E.P. Thompson etc., Exterminism and Cold War (1982)
Central Office of Information, Sound an Alarm (1971) (online platforms)
Jonathan Schell, The Fate of the Earth (1982)
wr and dir Derek Jarman, The Last of England (1988)
Paul Brians, Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction, 1895-1984 (1987)
I.F. Clarke, Voices Prophesying War, 1763-1984 (1986)
BBC Panorama, If the Bomb Drops (1980) (online platforms)
BBC, QED: A Guide to Armageddon (1982) (online platforms)
Wr. and dir. Duncan Campbell, Secret Society (1987) (online platforms)
Duncan Campbell, War Plan UK (1982)
Wr. and dir. John Pilger, The Truth Game (1983) (vimeo)
National Security Archive, The Able Archer 83 Sourcebook: 
Oleg Gordievsky, Comrade Kryuchkov's Instructions (1994)
Félix Guattari, The Three Ecologies (1989)
Félix Guattari and Toni Negri, Communists Like Us (1990)
William Chaloupka, Knowing Nukes: The Politics and Culture of the Atom (1992) (ebook through Warwick library)
Jonathan Hogg, British Nuclear Culture (2016) (ebook through Warwick library)
Daniel Cordle, Late Cold War Culture and Literature: The Nuclear 1980s (2017) (ebook through Warwick library)
Diacritics 'Nuclear Criticism' special edition, 14-2 (Summer 1984) JSTOR:
eds. Matthew Grant and Benjamin Ziemann, Understanding the Imaginary War (2016)
Michael Gardiner, 'Nuclear Deficit: Why nuclear weapons are natural, but Scotland doesn't need nature' (2019) (JSTOR)
Paul Virilio, War and Cinema (1989)
Akira Mizuta Lippit, Atomic Light (Shadow Optics) (2005) (ebook through Warwick library)

Ecologist magazine, Manifesto for a Sustainable Society (1972) (Ecologist archive)
Brian Aldiss, Billion Year Spree (1973)
Bill McKibben, The End of Nature (1989)
Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb (1971)
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962)
Garrett Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ (1968) reprinted at: 
Frederick Buell, 'Global Warming as Literary Narrative' (2014) (JSTOR)
E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful (1973)
Ed. John Barr, The Environmental Handbook (1971)
Timothy Mitchell, Carbon Democracy (2013) (ebook through Warwick library)
Jason Moore, Capitalism in The Web of Life (2015)
Andreas Malm, Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam-Power and the Roots of Global Warming (2015) (ebook through Warwick library)
Steven Vogel, Thinking Like a Mall: Environmental Philosophy After the End of Nature (2015) (ebook through Warwick library)

F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (1944) (simple search)
F.A. Hayek, Choice in Currency (1976) IEA Archive:
Anthony Burgess, 1985 (1978) (ebook through Warwick library)
William Rees-Mogg, The Reigning Error (1975)
wr. and dir. Peter Greenaway, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989) (Box of Broadcasts)
Joe Pike, Project Fear (2015)
Lionel Robbins, Liberty and Equality (1977)
Wr. and dir. Adam Curtis, The Mayfair Set (1999) (online platforms)
John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (1689) (simple search)
Alasdair Gray, Lanark (1981)
Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine (2007)
Michael Gardiner, 'Eco-Catastrophe, Economic Patriotism, and the Thatcherite Promise of Nature' (2018)
Luc Boltanski, The New Spirit of Capitalism (2007)
Jamie Peck, Constructions of Neoliberal Reason (2010) (ebook through Warwick library)
Evan Calder Williams, Combined and Uneven Apocalypse (2011) (ebook through Warwick library)
Carl Cederström and Peter Fleming, Dead Man Working (2012) (ebook through Warwick library)
Jonathan Crary, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep (2014)
Jonathan Crary, Scorched Earth (2022)
William Davies, 'Britain's Brezhnev-Style Capitalism' (2013): 
William Davies, The Limits of Neoliberalism (2015) (ebook through Warwick library)
David Graeber, The Utopia of Rules (2015)
Maurizio Lazzarato, Governing By Debt (2015)
Franco Berardi, After the Future (2011) (ebook through Warwick library)
Ray Brassier, Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction (2007) (ebook through Warwick library)
chapters from eds. Chantelle Gray van Heerden and Aragorn Eloff, Deleuze and Anarchism (2019)
Thomas Moynihan, X-Risk: How Humanity Discovered Its Own Extinction (2018)
James Bridle, New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future (2019)

Advice on Writing Essays