Skip to main content

EN122 Modes of Reading

Convenor: Prof Paulo de Medeiros


See here for 2019/20 syllabus



Lectures: Thursday 10-11, (Woods Scawen - Arts Centre)

This module offers an introduction to the practices of criticism. Form, genre and literary inheritance will be among the topics addressed. The module aims to enable students to work with a variety of critical approaches, and to develop an informed awareness of the possibilities available to them as readers and critics. Thematically organised lectures provide a frame of cultural reference on which the students will draw in their close readings in seminars. The module is taught in four units of four lectures each.



Required texts:

  • Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (1956)
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, The Word for World Is Forest (1976)
  • Allen Gingsberg, "Howl" (1956)
  • Toni Morrison, A Mercy (2008)

Students are required to buy the 4 set texts above (copies available in the bookshop or online). Students also need to obtain copies of the two critical companions, below, which can be purchased in hard copy or downloaded as e-copies via the library (see links below)


The module is offered to first year undergraduates, Erasmus Mundus and exchange students as well as some honours level students. Details of the various assessment patterns can be found here.

Research Skills

A short research skills course, created with students, to help you with your assignments can be found here.

Also, you may want to watch the following short videos, in which English students give their views and their tips on research at university:

Starting your research journey: a student view 

Top tips for first year research: a student view

Finding your path through honours level research: a student view

Teaching times

  • The first lecture for this module will take place at 10am on Thursday of week 1 in Woods Scawen - Arts Centre
  • Seminars start in week 2.
  • MAIN LECTURE: Thursdays, 10-11 in Woods Scawen - Arts Centre
  • SEMINARS: check your individual timetable

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to

• Discuss a particular work of literature in relation to a variety of theoretical questions

• Engage more confidently in critical analysis and bibliographic research relating to works of modern literature

• Participate in discussions regarding the role of literature in society, questions of institutional authority and contemporary cultural debates

• Make an informed choice of honours-level pathways and specialized options in modern literary topics

Lonely Londoners

Le Guin