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The Written World

14/7/2020 Please note that instructors, times and course content for 2020-21 are subject to confirmation at this stage. The information below pertains to 2019-20 and is for guidance only.
Aims and Objectives:
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 Methods:
Structure of the module:
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.
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)

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.

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