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EN122 Modes of Reading – Honours Variants - EN2J6/EN3J6

Convenor: Dr Roxanne DouglasLink opens in a new window 

The updated syllabus for 2022-2023 is now availableLink opens in a new window.

For updated information for 2021-2022 please go to the Modes MoodleLink opens in a new window


This module aims to provide students with a grounding in theoretical frameworks and methodologies for reading and interpreting literary and cultural texts. Offering different optics through which to think about culture, the module will introduce students to a variety of critical approaches, allowing them to develop an informed awareness of the possibilities available to them as readers and critics. The module situates its exploration of key theoretical debates in relation to a selection of (predominantly) post-1973 cultural texts, including novels, photographs, plays, films, poetry and music.

The set texts (and album) we will be reading and listening to this year include the following: Chris Kraus, I Love Dick; Jay Bernard, Surge; Janelle Monae, The ArchAndroid; Saadallah Wannous, Soiree for the 5th of June and Richard McGuire's Here.

A full list of this year’s set texts, as well as a week-by-week breakdown of the lectures, can be found by following the tabs above (see Syllabus).

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to

  • discuss a particular work of literature or culture in relation to a variety of theoretical questions and optics
  • engage more confidently in critical analysis and bibliographic research relating to works of modern literature and culture
  • participate in discussions regarding the role of literature in society, questions of institutional authority and contemporary cultural debates
  • be prepared to progress into the level 5 theory module, ‘Literature in Theory’ - English Literature Q300 students only
  • make an informed choice of honours-level pathways and specialized options in modern literary topics; have completed training in Research Skills

Teaching times

  • The first lecture for this module will take place at 10am on Thursday of week 1
  • MAIN LECTURE: Thursdays, 10-11 (recorded lectures will be released weekly, usually on Mondays and no later than 10:00 on Thursday)
  • SEMINARS: check your individual timetable


The module is offered to first year undergraduates, Erasmus Mundus and exchange students as well as some honours level students.

First-year students: 2 x 2,500-word essay.

Second-year students, 2 x 3000-word essay

Third-year students 2 x 3500-word essay

See Assessments for further information.

Essay deadlines

See essay deadlines published through the English Office.

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: