Please read our student and staff community guidance on COVID-19
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

EN127 The Written World

Convenor: Dr Chantal Wright (
Instructor: Dr Chantal Wright (Term 1); Arianna Autieri (Term 2)
Office hours for Dr Wright are on Thursdays from 5 to 6 p.m. or by appointment; for Arianna Autieri office hours are on Tuesdays from 1 to 2 p.m., both in G.01 Millburn House.
**In Term 3, please e-mail Dr Wright with any queries or to arrange a time to speak via Microsoft Teams.**
Teaching times and rooms for 2019-20: You have been allocated to one of two seminar groups. Seminars begin in Week 2. One group meets on Tuesdays from 2-4; the other on Thursdays from 3-5. Both groups meet in G.03 (ground floor of Millburn House).
There is a Term 1 introductory lecture for all students on Monday 30 September from 3-4 in R1.15 (first floor of Ramphal) and a Term 2 introductory lecture on Monday 6 January from 3-4 in R1.15.

The readings for this module are available from the library's reading list system Talis Aspire. All readings can either be borrowed from the library or accessed in the form of a digital scan from Talis Aspire and/or the module's Moodle site. Over the summer you might like to prepare by reading the short prose texts 'Canned Foreign' and 'The Talisman' from Yoko Tawada's Where Europe Begins (New Directions, 2002) and Elizabeth Bowen's novel The Last September (1948), which we'll be looking at in Weeks 3 and 4 of the autumn term.

Module outline:

This module will introduce students on the BA in English Literature and Creative Writing to ideas and theories from literary studies, linguistics, critical theory, translation studies and cultural studies that will underpin more specialised scholarly and creative study in the second and third years. You will study some of the writing and concepts that shape our understanding of the purpose, complexities and challenges of reading, writing, translating and interpreting literature in the present day. Each week pairs a conceptual text or texts with a literary text or texts to enable students to consider the relationship between abstract ideas/concepts/theories and concrete literary and cultural products and contexts.

Learning outcomes:

Upon completion of this module you should be able to:

- demonstrate familiarity with and a broad understanding of key critical theories of literary and cultural production and reception;

- relate abstract theoretical and critical approaches to concrete literary and cultural products and contexts;

- reflect upon the relationship between theories of literary and cultural production and actual literary and cultural practice.

Teaching format:

This module runs across two terms. The first week of each term features a lecture (one hour in length) for the entire BA in English Literature and Creative Writing cohort. In subsequent weeks teaching is delivered in small group seminars (two hours in length). You will be assigned to a seminar group upon arrival. Week Six of each term is a reading week with no teaching. In Term Two there will be a number of film screenings, dates and times TBA. If you are unable to attend these screenings, it is your responsibility to ensure that you watch the films in question before class.

Term One:

Week One: LECTURE (1 hour)

Week Two: Signs 1

Week Three: Defamiliarisation and foregrounding

Week Four: Narration

Week Five: Translation


Week Seven: Intention

Week Eight: Originality

Week Nine: Taste

Week Ten: Representation

Term Two:

Week One: LECTURE (1 hour)

Week Two: Readers

Week Three: Dreams

Week Four: Ideology

Week Five: Identity I


Week Seven: Empire

Week Eight: Identity II

Week Nine: Signs II

Week Ten: Institutions


Assessment is both formative, which means that the assignment is designed to help you practice and improve your skills and will not be graded, and summative, which means that the assignment will receive a grade. Assessment for this module comprises:

1 X 500-word response paper (formative)

1 x 500-word textual commentary (formative)

1 x annotated bibliography (formative)

2 x 3,500 word essays (both summative)

Please see the Moodle calendar for details of the due dates for these assignments.