About this page
We will update this page when we make significant changes to course information. This does not necessarily include minor corrections or formatting.
If you ever want to ask us about a change, you can contact us at webeditor at warwick dot ac dot uk.
8th March 2022
We have revised our introduction at the top of this course page.
Literature and History are vitally intertwined. Both subjects ask questions about how human experience is written and recorded – in the past and in the present – and both probe the relationship between what is real and what is represented.
We’re used to thinking of Literature and History as separate and distinct subjects. But are they? Both produce knowledge of the past; both focus on the reading and interpretation of texts; and both are concerned with narrative, or stories. Perhaps instead we should think of history as literature based on a true story, and of literature as a kind of living, imaginative history.
We have revised the content on our 'Course Overview' tab:
English and History offers you the opportunity to think about, question, and blur the line between two disciplines: how history always involves modes of representation that are themselves literary, and how literature has imagined and influenced the political and social contours of history.
Taught across the English and Comparative Literary Studies and History departments, this degree will allow you to explore these issues from a variety of angles and through a wide range of optional modules that span time and geography: from the medieval to the contemporary, and from Britain to America and the Caribbean.
As well as developing your subject knowledge, we will encourage you to develop your own ideas and arguments, to critically analyse what others say and write, and to reflect upon how the disciplines of history and literature might best speak to one another, today and in the future.
The unique English and History degree at Warwick explores these ideas through modules that span time and geography: from the ancient to the contemporary, and from Europe to Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
As well as choosing from a wide range of modules in both departments (and in others), you will study special core modules that are exclusively for English and History students, bringing the two subjects together and thinking about how literature helps us to understand the past, and how history can illuminate works of literature. You will examine the literary techniques employed in historical writing, and consider how the past is represented in poetry, plays, and novels.
At all times, we will encourage you to develop your own ideas and arguments, to critically analyse what others say and write, and to think in new and imaginative ways about how we know the past through texts.
We have also revised the content on our 'Modules' tab.
In your first year you will take the core module History and Textuality, which gets you thinking about how the subjects of history and literature interact. In Making of the Modern World, you will tackle the major concepts of modern history, such as democracy, imperialism, and revolution. And by taking either Epic into Novel or Medieval to Renaissance English Literature you will delve into classic texts and ask questions about the forms and genres we've used to tell stories across the centuries.
In your second year you choose from the modules on offer in the English and History departments as well as taking a further core module, Writing History: Truth, Memory, and Fiction, which considers the myriad ways in which history has been written, re-written, imagined, and staged.
Finally, in your third year you will write a specific English and History Dissertation. You will also have a free choice of modules offered by—or beyond—the English and History departments and will have the opportunity to tailor your studies to your strengths and interests.
The first year of your degree provides a thorough grounding in the methods and techniques of history and literary studies. The core module, History and Textuality, is specially designed for this degree programme and gives you an advanced training in the most innovative approaches to historical and literary scholarship.
In your second year, you’ll choose modules from the two departments alongside another specially-designed core module, Writing History, which explores the relationship between history and literature through a series of source-based case studies (which in previous years have included the revolutionary Atlantic, colonial India, the Harlem Renaissance, and 9/11).
Finally, in your third year you’ll complete an independent research project and choose from a range of modules offered by the two departments (and others), tailoring your studies to your own interests.
By the time you graduate you will have acquired an exceptional intellectual training for further study in either discipline—or both—and for a range of careers beyond academia; and you’ll never think about literature or history in quite the same way again.
We have revised our core module descriptions for the core module for History and Textuality.
In this core first-year module for students taking BA English and History, you will explore the limits of history and narrative by considering subjects that have traditionally been said to be ahistorical, such as the emotions, sensation, the 'primitive', and the non-human world. By gaining exposure to a wide range of historical and literary topics and focusing attention on the theoretical frameworks that scholars use to study these topics, you will help develop your interests and concentrate your studies within the degree.
For historians and literary scholars alike the past is irretrievable, yet inescapable. On History and Textuality you will explore how the two disciplines address this dilemma, focusing particularly on issues that have been marginalised in traditional historical inquiry—such as the emotions, the ‘primitive’, and the non-human—and on the ways in which history has been shaped by operations of power. As the first-year core module for the English and History degree, this module also has a programme of assessments designed to help you make the transition from school to university-level study.