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EN928 - Poetics of Urban Modernism

  • Module code: EN928
  • Module name: Poetics of Urban Modernism
  • Department: English and Comparative Literary Studies
  • Credit: 20, 30, 36, 45

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

The module aims to evaluate and reassess one of the key categories - urban space - through which the concept of 'modernism' has been constructed. Modernist depictions of urban space highlight the shock of modernity and explore the challenges of late industrial and capitalist experience. We will investigate the links between late 19th-century transformations of the metropolitan environment and modernist innovation. Issues to be explored include spectatorship and visuality; the impact of new technologies (especially cinema) and of commodity culture more generally on the formal logic of the modernist text; the dialogue between modernist urbanism and the global spaces of empire; and the inscription of the modernist project within a global perspective. We will draw on the work of Walter Benjamin, and other authors discussed will include Charles Baudelaire, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Virginia Woolf and Jean Rhys.

Timetabled teaching activities

2 hour weekly seminar

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
20 CATS (Module code: EN928-20)
A (Assessed work only) Assessed Course Work 100%
30 CATS (Module code: EN928-30)
A (Assessed work only) Assessed Course Work 100%
36 CATS (Module code: EN928-36)
A (Assessed work only) Assessed Course Work 100%
45 CATS (Module code: EN928-45)
A (Assessed work only) Assessed Course Work 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • in World Literature (Q2PE) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught English Literature (Q3P1) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Philosophy and Literature (V7P7) - Year 2