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Textual Studies (PH304-30)

Timing & CATS

This module runs for the full year and is worth 30 CATS.

Module Description

Textual Studies, specifically for final-year Philosophy and Literature students, is taught jointly by tutors from Philosophy and English. The module aims to draw on and consolidate the experience, reading and training of Philosophy and Literature students in their final year, through the intensive and detailed study of texts which are at once of philosophical substance and literary interest. The work of the module falls into two parts: seminar work and tutorial work. The seminar carries out in-depth study of a small range of texts and aims to explore the way they involve the interaction of philosophical and literary elements. Authors studied have included: Plato, Augustine, Rousseau, Coleridge, Nietzsche, Woolf, and Nabokov. Students simultaneously work on an independently developed research essay, guided by tutorials with both tutors.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should have acquired a sophisticated understanding of the texts studied, of the interaction of different types of philosophical and literary analysis and critique, and of the key seminar themes and problems. They should have developed the ability to analyse, interpret and argue in ways that cross the interdisciplinary divide, while respecting the integrity of differing literary and philosophical traditions. Through their more individual, tutorial-guided work for the assessed essay they should have developed research skills and the ability to articulate and develop their own intellectual and imaginative projects in a scholarly manner.

Contact Time

This module is normally taught via lecture-seminars and tutorials. The lecture-seminar meets for 3 hours per week for 9 weeks across Terms 1 (Weeks 1-5 and Week 7) and Term 2 (Weeks 1-3). 2 tutorials are held with each student, in the second half of each of Terms 1 and 2.

Lecture-Seminars for 2017-18 (Term 1)

Monday 11.30-1.00 pm, S0.50

Thursday 11.30-1.00 pm, S2.84

Lecture-Seminars for 2017-18 (Term 2)

Monday 12-1.30 pm, S0.10

Thursday 12-1.30 pm, R0.14

Assessment Methods

This module will be formally assessed in the following way:

  • 50% examination (1 x 5000 word essay) and 50% examination - (2 hour exam)

In Week 7 of Term 1, students should submit two hard copies (one to each module tutor) of a 2-page plan for their 5000 word assessed essay. We will discuss the plan with you and provide feedback on it at your Term 1 tutorial, which will be held during Weeks 8-10.

In Week 7 of Term 2, students should submit a substantial draft of their assessed essay (ideally 3000-4000 words) - this will be the basis for the Term 2 tutorial. The Term 2 Week 7 essay draft should be submitted online (no hard copies required) via the coursework management system in line with the 2017-18 essay deadlines schedule.

In addition students are required to give a presentation during a seminar, providing an accompanying handout for all members of the class.

Core readings (Term 1):

  • Plato, Symposium, trans. Robin Waterfield (Oxford World's Classics)
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, trans. Richard Polt (Hackett)

Core reading (Term 2):

  • Franz Kafka, The Complete Short Stories (Vintage Classics)

Please get these specific editions. We will refer to them in seminar, and they are the only editions of the texts that can be brought into the exam at the end of the year.

Course materials

Course materials will be available on Moodle. Sign in and select the module from your Moodle home page.

Module Tutors:


Christina Britzolakis

c dot britzolakis at warwick dot ac dot uk


Eileen John