Literary Stylistics: New Directions - LL850

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
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7 15 (7.5) DR J Scott







The module proceeds from the assumption that linguistics and literary study should not be separated, and it aims to provide students with the kinds of advanced theoretical knowledge needed to become creative-thinking and, crucially, interdisciplinary experts in literary linguistics. The course provides an innovative integration of English language into literary studies, and covers a wide range of material, combining theoretical and ideological dimensions with practical applications, including, but not limited to, text-world theory, cognitive poetics, narratology and dialect in literature. It aims to be rigorous and principled, in line with other disciplines that come under the umbrella of language and linguistics study, while offering an approach to literary language study that is fundamentally humanistic in orientation. The module explores the languages of literary texts and literary reading, from the most focused study of the texture of language right up to the ideological and cultural practices of world literatures.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 20


This module is compulsory for students studying on the MA in Language and Literature.

Method of assessment

Essay (3500 words) - 100%

Indicative reading

Busse, Beatrix and Dan McIntyre (eds.) (2011) Language and Style. London: Palgrave Macmillan;
Currie, Mark (2005) Postmodern Narrative Theory. London: Palgrave Macmillan;
Fabb, Nigel (1997) Linguistics and Literature. London: Blackwell;
Gavins, Joanna and Gerard Steen (eds.) (2003) Cognitive Poetics in Practice. London: Routledge;
Lambou, Marina and Peter Stockwell (eds.) (2007) Contemporary Stylistics. London: Continuum

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to identify and demonstrate comprehensive understanding of the latest major theoretical positions used in stylistics as a discipline (with reference to the most recent research) concerned with applying models from linguistics to the interpretation of texts;
Students will be able to show through practical evidence the feasibility of linguistic models, justifying their rationale from analysis of a range of texts from different genres at the forefront of the discipline;
Students will be able to select and apply precise linguistic, stylistic and narratological terminology to the study of poetry, prose and drama texts, coming to a detailed understanding of the current position of the discipline;
Students will be able to show an advanced-level understanding of the latest trends, themes and developments within the discipline of stylistics, specifically: cognitive poetics, text-world theory, deictic shift theory, dialect in literature, representation of discourse and contemporary narratology;
Students will be able to present, evaluate and interpret both qualitative and quantitative stylistic and linguistic data to develop lines of argument and make sound, rigorous judgements about literary discourse;
Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of the numerous interconnections and interfaces between the study of English literature and language.

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