Changing Literatures: From Chaucer to the Contemporary - ENGL3360

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 4 30 (15) Declan Wiffen checkmark-circle


Changing Literatures: From Chaucer to the Contemporary aims to introduce students to the major forms of literature: poetry, prose and drama, with a core emphasis on innovation. Students will examine the formal structures and generic features of these major forms and, through studying specific examples, observe how these forms change over time and in response to changes in authorship, literary production, and audience/readership. Students will also be exposed to contemporary literary forms, such as literature written via social media (Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram), literature created by Artificial Intelligence, experimental literature, and asked to critically assess them in relation to traditional forms of literature. Embedded in this module will also be the development of writing and research skills that will equip students to manage successfully the transition.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 48
Private Study Hours: 252
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Close Reading – 30% (1,000 words)
Research Essay – 50 % (2,500 words)
Seminar Participation – 20%

Reassessment methods
100% coursework (3,000 words)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Identify specific literary forms (e.g. poetry, narrative prose, drama), their structures and principles, related terminology, and the potential complexities of each form;
2 Understand the relationship between form and meaning: that is, how literary forms shape and constrain meaning/s and interpretation/s; how literary forms evoke particular affects and/or ideologies;
3 Understand the historical and cultural specificity of literary forms and how these change over time and across different locations (e.g. national contexts);
4 Write critically, creatively, and comparatively about literary forms from different historical and cultural contexts.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Identify and apply strategies of reading relevant to the material they encounter;
2 Apply close reading techniques to a range of literary forms, and to make complex comparisons between them;
3 Begin self-directed research, and evaluate and creatively deploy secondary critical and theoretical perspectives;
4 Construct original, articulate, and well-substantiated arguments;
5 Manage their time and workload effectively.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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