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Undergraduate Courses 2017
Applying through clearing?
Clearing applicants and others planning to start in 2016 should view English and American Literature and Creative Writing with an Approved Year Abroad for 2016 entry.

English and American Literature and Creative Writing with an Approved Year Abroad - BA (Hons)

Canterbury

Overview

English and Creative Writing at Kent is challenging, flexible, and wide-ranging. Literature modules cover both traditional areas (such as Shakespeare or Dickens) and newer fields such as American literature, postcolonial literature and recent developments in literary theory. Creative Writing options allow you to choose from a range of poetry and prose modules and develop your own voice and style. The classes will teach you about writing and give you the chance to practise, through writing exercises, workshops and assignments, your own writing. There is also the opportunity to spend up to a year studying abroad in either America, Canada, Europe or Hong Kong.

Staff in the School of English are internationally recognised for academic research which links closely with undergraduate teaching, and the School regularly hosts visits by a variety of international writers and critics both on campus and in the city of Canterbury. There is a weekly reading series during term time that plays host to a wide range of leading authors reading from their work, as well as publishing industry professionals. Our staff are all published writers and continue to write. Students publish a magazine of creative writing, poetry and prose. A number of our students also write for InQuire, the student union newspaper.

Independent rankings

In the National Student Survey 2015, 91% of English students at Kent were satisfied with the overall quality of their course. Kent was also ranked 14th in the UK for English and Creative Writing in The Guardian University Guide 2017 out of 105 institutions.

Course structure

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules that will be available to you and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

In Stage 1, you will be required to study our compulsory module EN333 Romanticism and the creative writing modules EN326 Narrative Theory and Practice and EN327 Poetry Theory and Practice; you must also choose at least one other from the list of Stage 1 modules. You can take all English modules, but you do also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order to explore other subject areas. Please note that your wild modules must equal no more than 30 credits.

In Stage 2 you would choose two creative writing modules and two literature modules and in Stage 3 you would choose one or two creative writing modules and two or three literature modules (to equal four in total). At least two of the modules you take over Stage 2 and 3 must be in pre-1800 literature. You also have the option in Stage 3 to take a long essay module which allows you to research and write in an area of particular interest, including creative writing. A selection of the modules available are listed below. You would spend the year between Stages 2 and 3 studying abroad, making the degree a four year programme. To be eligible for the Year Abroad, you need to achieve an average of 60% or more at the end of Stage 1.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

EN333 - Romanticism and Critical Theory (30 credits)

This year-long course examines some of the most significant writing of the Romantic period (1780-1830) - a period in which the role and forms of literature were being redefined - alongside recent debates in critical theory. You will study a wide range of literary texts from the poetry of Blake, Wordsworth and Keats to the novels of Jane Austen and Mary Shelley, with reference to contemporary literary and political debates and against the backdrop of the period’s turbulent history. In parallel, this module explores fundamental critical questions about literature: Why read it? What is an author? What is the role of poetry in society? How is literature shaped by culture? What is ‘Art’? Continuities and disjunctions between Romantic writers’ answers to these questions and those provided by more recent literary theorists will be a central concern of the course.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN326 - Narrative Theory and Practice (15 credits)

This module will introduce key concepts and ideas in theories of narrative, and will provide students with the critical and creative tools they need to start working with narrative – as writers and critics. Students will learn the basics of prose writing, including how to work with voice, tense, register and different types of narrator. They will also focus intensively on narrative structure and will experiment with different types of plot, from the Aristotelian to the impressionistic. This module will ultimately encourage students to consider the ways in which reading leads to writing, and to what extent original, contemporary storytelling must always refer to other texts, stories and structures from the past and present. Students will produce one essay and one piece of narrative fiction.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EN327 - Poetry Theory and Practice (15 credits)

This module will introduce key concepts and ideas in the history of poetry, and will provide students with the critical and creative tools they need to start writing their own poetry. Taking classic texts in the history of poetry and poetics as starting points, the module will consider how and why poetry is written. Students will learn to identify forms and metrical arrangements and will gain an understanding of poetry’s major modes. They will be encouraged to consider the processes by which poetry is made (and the stories told about these processes), and also the relation of poetry to society.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EN331 - Readings in the Twentieth Century (30 credits)

This module emphasizes the links between literature, history, and culture. It introduces students to the formative events, debates and struggles of the twentieth century, and how these have been addressed by different modes of creative and critical writing. Topics such as Modernism, the Holocaust, the US culture industry, postcolonial studies and neoliberalism will be considered and discussed in relation to fictional and critical literature, films, photography, graphic novels, music, and other media. Weekly screenings will run alongside lectures and seminar discussions. Literary works across all genres will be read in relation to visual material – such as paintings, photography, feature and documentary films – and a range of selected critical reading. The majority of writing samples are drawn from English, American and more broadly Anglophone writing, though several instances of writing in other languages will also be included (all taught in translation).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN332 - Writing America (30 credits)

This module aims to emphasize connections between literature and culture in the USA, from early considerations of a distinct American literature to the present day. By way of six key themes or preoccupations, the module will introduce students to some of the major debates and antagonisms, and rhetorical and stylistic modes, that have formed and modified American literary and intellectual culture Questions of Belief, Gender, Race, Economy, Space, and Time will be approached through a range of textual forms set against their historical contexts and within the broader nexus of cultural production including the visual performing arts where appropriate. Students will be encouraged to examine the specific local, regional, and national frameworks within which these texts are produced, but also to look at the ways in which they resist and transcend national boundaries, in the development of an American register in world literatures for instance.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN302 - Early Drama (30 credits)

This module will introduce students to a range of medieval and early modern dramatic genres, from ninth-century Latin church drama to the commercial theatres of Shakespeare's London. Students will learn about methods for analysing past performances and existing texts, as well as how drama interacted with and responded to pivotal moments in British history, and the culture, politics and religion of the period. As such, the module will function as an introduction to medieval and early modern studies more broadly and a platform from which to undertake early English literature and drama modules, such as ‘Chaucer and Late Medieval Literature’, ‘Early Modern Literature, 1500-1700’ and ‘Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama’, at Stages 2 and 3. Students will read and discuss playtexts in modern translations, both as literary objects and live performance events. Regular optional site visits and screenings will contribute to students’ understanding of the drama’s contexts, how plays might work in performance and to what extent they still speak to twenty-first century audiences.

Lectures and seminars are designed to be varied and interactive, with the opportunity for everyone to participate and to develop key academic skills. The module is assessed by seminar contributions, creative and research-based coursework and a final end-of-year project, which will allow students the freedom to explore a topic of their choice creatively.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

EN679 - Writing Fiction: Tradition and Context (30 credits)

This module will explore movements in fiction from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first through a range of primary texts and critical material, and consider how these precedents might feed into students' creative practice. For the first part of the term students will be taken through a chronological overview, focusing on key and influential examples. Extracts from Middlemarch (Eliot), and Madame Bovary (Flaubert), will introduce key 'realist' techniques and also raise the question of international influence. The rise of modernism(s) will be considered through an examination of the manifesto-making culture of the early twentieth century, as well as texts by Joyce, Woolf and Proust. Postmodernism in its various permutations will be considered in the work of John Barth and Thomas Pynchon, and in terms of critical theory. This first part of the term will conclude with a discussion of contemporary texts, both those which pursue formal and stylistic innovation (Marcus, Eggers), and those who have sought to return to more traditional modes (Zadie Smith). Students will consider how useful these terms are, and the difference between a retrospectively applied label and a willfully adopted or invented one. The remainder of the term will be devoted to a consideration of current trends and developments in contemporary fiction, and a focus on developing students' own voices, approaches and positions, through both creative and creative-critical assignments

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN685 - Elements of Fiction (30 credits)

This module will concentrate on, as it says, The Elements of Fiction. The elements that will be covered are: point-of-view; characterisation; dialogue; plot; structure and planning; voice and tone; description and imagery; location and place; editing and re-editing; theme. Each week, there will be a different technical theme, exemplified by prior reading. Students will discuss the set texts, as exemplars of writerly craft. These discussions will be supported and illustrated by writing exercises. As the term progresses, the focus will shift more on to the students’ own work; and writing workshops will be an integral part of the seminars.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN686 - Contemporary Poetry: Context and Innovation (30 credits)

This module will expose students to a wide range of contemporary English language poetries, which don’t use traditional prosodies as their organising principles. Techniques and writing strategies covered will include ‘chance’ procedures; cut-up; ‘field’ poetics; Oulipo; ‘concrete’ poetry; radical feminist poetics; the avant-garde lyric; ‘radical landscape’ poetries, amongst others. One of these approaches to writing poetry (or others as appropriate) will be the starting point for discussion each week. These discussions will be supported with writing week by week. Each teaching session will incorporate a writing workshop.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN674 - Contemporary Poetry: Tradition and Innovation (30 credits)

This module will expose students to a wide range of contemporary English language poetries, which use traditional prosodies as their organising principles. Techniques and writing strategies covered will include the wide range of verse forms and will include the sonnet, the quatrain, the couplet as well measures such as the iambic pentameter amongst others. One of these forms for writing poetry (and others as appropriate) will be the starting point for discussion each week. These discussions will be supported with writing exercises week by week.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN692 - Early Modern Literature 1500-1700 (30 credits)

This module offers a survey of early modern literature from 1500 to 1700. Looking at a wide range of literature including poetry, prose and drama, students will consider the relationship between literary debate and form on the one hand, and political change, social identity and religious transformation on the other. We will consider how important debates surrounding political, social, gender and religious identity inflect and are reflected in the literature of the period, including works by Baldwin, Donne, Lanyer, Marvell, Milton and Behn. Students will also explore the boundaries of the literary canon, encountering pamphlets, sermons and conduct books, and consider the ways in which literary and non-literary texts both mirror and influence culture and society.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN681 - Novelty, Enlightenment and Emancipation: 18th Century Literature (30 credits)

Before 1660 there was no English novel, and by the end of the eighteenth century there was Jane Austen. This module asks how such a literary revolution was possible. It investigates the rise of professional authorship in an increasingly open marketplace for books. With commercial expansion came experiment and novelty. Genres unheard of in the Renaissance emerged for the first time: they include the periodical essay, autobiography, the oriental tale, amatory fiction, slave narratives and, most remarkably, the modern novel. Ancient modes such as satire, pastoral and romance underwent surprising transformations. Many eighteenth-century men and women felt that they lived in an age of reason and emancipation – although others warned of enlightenment’s darker aspect. Seminar reading reflects the fact that an increasing number of women, members of the labouring classes, and African slaves wrote for publication; that readers themselves became more socially varied; and that Britain was growing to understand itself as an imperial nation within a shifting global context. It asks students to reflect, as eighteenth-century writers did, upon the literary, cultural and political implications of these developments

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN694 - Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama (30 credits)

The drama of early modern England broke new literary and dramatic ground. This module will focus on key plays across the period, exploring the development of dramatic writing, playing companies’ home within the London theatres, drama’s links to court entertainment and its relationship to the provinces. Dramatic and literary form will be a central preoccupation alongside issues of characterisation, culture, politics and gender. Shakespeare’s work will be put into context in relation to the plays of contemporary dramatists as well as the various cultural, historical and material circumstances that influenced the composition, performance and publication of drama in early modern England.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN697 - Chaucer and Late Medieval English Literature (30 credits)

This module will introduce students to a range of writing from the late medieval period. It will focus on a number of central genres in English literature that emerge between the late fourteenth and early sixteenth centuries (from romance, tragedy and fabliaux through to morality plays and devotional prose) and will explore some key topics and themes in medieval literature, such as authority, gender, sexuality, piety, chivalric identity, narrative and voice, truth and destiny. Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales will offer an accessible introduction to these core genres and themes, and initiate students in issues that are pertinent to less familiar writers and texts from the period, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, and The Book of Margery Kempe. During the course of the module you will also learn about the historical and cultural contexts of the fourteenth, fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, and how such contexts influenced the literature of the period.

The themes and theories covered by the course will vary in response to the lecture programme and the emphasis and research specialisms of individual teachers. Previous topics have included: gender and sexuality; authorship and patronage; history of the book; manuscripts and the printed texts; piety and devotion; iconography; social relations; performance cultures; audience, reading and reception; the body, corporeality and experience.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN695 - Empire, New Nations and Migration (30 credits)

This course will introduce students to the field of postcolonial literature, focusing on the period from the late nineteenth century to the present day. The course will be divided into three consecutive areas: empire and colonisation; the processes of decolonisation; and migration and diaspora. Centred primarily on canonical British colonial texts, the first part of the course will explore issues surrounding language, cosmopolitan encounters, Orientalism, modernism and the genres of imperial fantasy. The texts in the second part of the module will be drawn from Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. The intention is to allow students to bring these disparate regions and texts into a productive dialogue by reflecting on their common engagement with colonial and liberation discourses, as well as the legacies of partition. The course further aims to sketch a narrative of empire and decolonisation that links these issues to the context of narrating migration in our contemporary postcolonial world, a subject taken up more directly in the final part of the course.



Some brief extracts from critical material on colonial discourse and history, decolonisation, postcoloniality and migration will be considered alongside the primary text each week. Together with a broad primary textual arc that stretches from the British empire to the contemporary metropolis, the course will give students a coherent intellectual narrative with which to explore changing conceptions of culture, history and postcolonial identity across the modern world.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN721 - American Modernities: US Literature in the 20th Century (30 credits)

This module is a study of twentieth-century American literature and culture organized conceptually around the idea of modernity. Students will explore the interconnections between modernity in the United States and the literary and philosophical ideas that shaped it (and were shaped by it) from the start of the century to its close. At the core of the module will be a necessary focus on two versions of American modernity, broadly represented by New York and Los Angeles respectively. Novels, works of art and critical texts will be read alongside one another to explore how these major regional hubs of aesthetic and cultural output developed competing conceptions of "modernity", “American culture” and the place of “the urban” in twentieth-century life, with important effects on contemporary perceptions of the USA. Moving beyond a sense of “modernism” as simply an aesthetic challenge to nineteenth-century modes of romanticism and realism, to consider the embeddedness of “modernist” literature within the particularities of its cultural and historical moment, students will be asked to develop a more nuanced approach to critical reading that pays close attention to the role of differing conceptions of modernity in the USA. The rise of mass culture, the L.A. film industry, the importance of Harlem to the history of race, the role of the intellectual, the urban challenges of the automobile, the birth of the modern American magazine, and questions of conservation and “creative destruction” in cities will all be considered through readings of key novels and critical texts from what Time Magazine editor Henry Luce famously called “The American Century”.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN677 - The Contemporary (30 credits)

This module aims to introduce students to a wide range of contemporary literature written in English, where ‘contemporary’ is taken to refer to twenty-first century work. It will equip students with critical ideas and theoretical concepts that will help them to understand the literature of their own time. Students will consider examples of a range of genres: poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and the essay. They will also be selectively introduced to key ideas in contemporary theory and philosophy. Over the course of the module, students will be encouraged to read texts in a number of contexts. They will consider writers’ responses to, for instance, questions of migration, environmental change, and financial crisis. They will also consider a range of aesthetic developments and departures, for example: new conceptualism and the claim to unoriginality; the turn to creative non-fiction; the re-emergence of the political essay. The module will not focus on a given national context. Instead it will set contemporary writing against the background of identifiably international issues and concerns. In so doing it will draw attention to non-national publishing strategies and audiences. Overall, the module will aim to show how writers are responding to the present period, how their work illuminates and reflects current cultural concerns. The module will alternate, week by week, between thematic and formal concerns.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN672 - Reading Victorian Literature (30 credits)

This module aims to introduce students to a wide range of Victorian literature. It will equip students with critical ideas that will help them become more skilful and confident readers of texts in and beyond this period. Students will be encouraged to read texts in a number of contexts: environmental (for example, considering the effects of urbanisation and the Industrial Revolution); imaginative (examining a range of genres such as poetry, novel, short story); political (class conflicts, changing gender roles, ideas of nation and empire); and psychological (representations of sexuality, parent-child relationships, madness, dreams). Students will be made aware of concepts such as modernity and will be encouraged to think about various developments of literary form in the period.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN675 - Declaring Independence: 19th Century US Literature (30 credits)

When the Long Island-born poet Walt Whitman proclaimed in 1855 that the “United States” were history’s “greatest poem” he made an important connection between national political culture and literary expression. In some ways this was no exaggeration. As a new experiment in politics and culture, the United States had to be literally written into existence. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson’s dramatic Declaration of Independence in 1776, followed by the drafting of the Constitution after the Revolutionary War with Britain, the project of shaping the new United States in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was essentially a literary one.

In this module we will explore how American writers in this period tried in numerous, diverse ways to locate an original literary voice through which to express their newfound independence. At the same time, the module includes the work of writers who had legitimate grievances against the developing character of a new nation that still saw fit to cling to such “Old World” traditions as racialized slavery, class conflict and gender inequality.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN689 - Modernism (30 credits)

This module features key modernist texts, for example the work of Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, H.D., Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Jean Rhys. It also makes substantial reference to key philosophical theories of modernity and textuality. The literary works are taken mostly from a restricted period 1910-1939. Other texts which might form part of the curriculum may include a limited selection of works by F.T. Marinetti, Mina Loy, D.H. Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, Samuel Beckett, Mikhail Bakhtin, Georg Lukács, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno and Jacques Derrida. One focus in the module will be the notion of the artist as applied to the writer as an art-practitioner. Other topics include modes of representation, textuality and identity, the relationship between language and experience, war and democracy, class and politics, notions of exile, cosmopolitanism and bohemianism, sex, morality and city life. This material requires both theoretical and historical orientation, as well as skill in distilling significance from complex literary artefacts with regard to the network of mediations which both bind such works to their apparent context and appear to dislocate them.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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Year abroad

You have the opportunity to study abroad in Europe, America, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa or Korea for a year between Stages 2 and 3. We have exchange agreements with over 20 universities.

Possible modules may include:

HU503 - Humanities Study Abroad Module (Year) (120 credits)

Spending a period as full-time student at an overseas university, students will follow teaching and tuition in their own subject areas as well as choosing from a range of available courses in the Humanities. The curriculum will vary according to the partner institutions. Additionally, students will usually be offered to take language classes and/or courses on the culture of the host country.

Credits: 120 credits (60 ECTS credits).

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Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

EN691 - A Throw of the Dice: Gambling, Gaming & Fiction (30 credits)

This module will look at fiction that has taken games, gaming and/or gambling as a subject, as well as fiction that has used elements of these pursuits to develop a system of rules to determine its own form. At the heart of all this is a dualism of game and play; or, to put it another way, law and freedom.

For the first half of the term students will be exposed to a variety of novels and short stories, and will be encouraged to assess the ways in which these fictions incorporate the subject matter of gaming and gambling and chance in the context of contemporary society and ideology; and, how authors have employed these elements for, for example, plot points and character development. We will begin in the nineteenth century (Heathcliff wins the deeds to Wuthering Heights in a game of cards; in The Queen of Spades, Pushkin’s theme of the arrogance of a player who thinks he can triumph over the game being inevitably punished by madness and death is one that would be later explored by Nabokov) and move through to the present day. We will look at experiments with narrative and form and take in computer-game narrative along the way.

In the second half of the term students will build upon the writing exercises and reading of the first half, to work on producing their own fiction. Regular writing workshops will encourage students to share ideas and work in progress; and technical skills sessions will encourage them to experiment with grammar, structure, voice and theme, working, if not along the lines of, at least in the light of, the different thematic approaches and investigations of the work they have been reading.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN693 - Writing Violence: The 20th Century, The Holocaust & The Ethics of Repre (30 credits)

Early in her long essay ‘On Violence,’ Hannah Arendt says “no one engaged in thought about history and politics can remain unaware of the enormous role violence has played in human affairs, and it is at first glance rather surprising that violence has been singled out so seldom for special consideration.” In the more than three decades since the publication of her book, much has been done to remedy this omission. Violence is everywhere now. As we look back on the wreck of the twentieth century, we see it as Benjamin’s Angel of History perceived it: as a chaotic constellation of human man’s brutality against man.

Whether in the direct representation of warfare - in the poetry of Owen, Brooke and Sassoon, the prose of Norman Mailer, Keith Douglas and Joseph Heller - or in those authors who have chosen to reflect on the ethical demands thrown upon authors responding to the wreckage of the 20th century, this module will immerse students in the critical and literary currents surrounding the subject of violence.

Initially, students will be given a critical and theoretical framework for understanding the subject, drawing particularly on the work of Walter Benjamin and Hannah Arendt and looking at Michael Wood’s reading of violence in Yeats as an example of a critical response to the subject. They will then read a selection of works from the early 20th century to the present day which exemplify the themes we are discussing. Finally, we will look at the specific example of the Holocaust and how writers have dealt with the horrifying legacy of that blackest hour of history. We will read Primo Levi’s If this Is a Man, WG Sebald’s Austerlitz, the poems of Paul Celan and other key critical writings about the subject to consider how a writer can respond ethically to extreme episodes of human violence.

Students will produce a piece of prose fiction in response to the ideas and issues raised over the course of this module.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN671 - Writing the Past: Approaches to the Historical Novel (30 credits)

This module will investigate the theory and practice of writing contemporary historical fiction. For the first half of the term students will be exposed to a variety of stimulating contemporary novels and encouraged to make connections between them and assess the ways in which they engage with the historical period(s) in which they are set, and the ways in which history is (re)presented. We will analyse approaches to research; the use and incorporation of other texts and the engagement with historical prose styles; the difference between fictionalised history (Wolf Hall), fiction with an historical setting (Ulverton, The Stranger's Child, The Little Stranger), and fiction which takes a formally experimental approach to make use of partial documents and historical material (Coming Through Slaughter); the ways in which the past is refigured in the present, the ways in which the past might speak to the present, and the boundaries between fiction and history. Students will be asked to consider the ways in which authors use form and voice to interrogate the possibility of representing history, and the limitations of the attempt to do so. We will consider how postmodernism has impacted on questions of narrative and historiography. Alongside these theoretical and critical questions, students will be encouraged to develop a robust approach to research.

In the second half of the term students will build upon the writing exercises and research of the first half, to work on the introductory chapters to their own novels. Regular writing workshops will encourage students to share ideas and work in progress; and technical skills sessions will encourage them to experiment with punctuation, metaphor, voice and viewpoint, as well as considering how they might incorporate their research into their writing. We will consider different structural approaches and students will be encouraged to find innovative ways to address their chosen historical material.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN683 - Passport to Oblivion: Writing Self into History (30 credits)

Memory is the point in which time, place and the Self intersect. Since all three elements are in constant movement, memories are neither permanent nor reliable. Why, then, write down our memories? Is it an effort to turn them into accurate points that should mark the locus of a certain plateau in our consciousness? Is it an attempt to write the (private) Self into (collective) history? By writing memory, and adding personal perspective—are we creating another layer of distortion, or are we peeling the onion? When we delegate our memory to paper, do we reinforce it or do we abdicate our responsibilities? Is memoir just another name for passport to oblivion?

During the first half of the term students will delve into several major works, which should give them historical perspective and show them some of the possible approaches to writing private history.

They will be introduced to different kinds of autobiographical writing: from works written by the protagonists of major historical events, to recollections of the non-famous people; from texts rich in political connotations and critique of the regime, to celebrity memoirs and the escapism they offer; from traditional forms of memoirs to fragmentary writing, writing in instalments, and graphic narratives. Students will learn about memoirs as political weapons and how they have been used through history. They will also be encouraged to critically evaluate and examine the most recent forms of life writing, such as blogging and micro-blogging, and social media.

In the second half of the term, students will work on a major piece of life writing. They will be expected to produce a manuscript dealing with a specific experience or part of their lives.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN663 - The Book Project (30 credits)

Ever wanted to write and publish a work of fiction or poetry? ‘The Book Project’ is your chance to have as close an experience as possible of what it might be like to publish a small book of creative writing in a genre of your choice. The main emphasis will be on producing a body of creative work through workshop and background readings, where we will look at all sorts of topics current in publishing, from vanity publishing to the web. We will then publish your work using professional print-on-demand technology to create your own book with full-colour cover, for the launch of these publications at an end of term launch event.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN664 - Wrestling with Angels: Writing the Prose Poem (30 credits)

This module is for poets, prose writers, and those who can't decide! Through an exploration of the boundaries between prose and poetry in theory and in practice, it aims to extend the creative possibilities of your writing. Along the way we will analyse rhythm, voice and character, imagery, symbol and metaphor, the role of the reader -- and how all these work in and out of poetic and prose conventions. Through exercises, workshops and tutorials you will be encouraged to experiment with writing your own cross-boundary work and to produce a portfolio of prose poems for assessment. The first half of the module will consist of an investigation of historical and contemporary models of prose poetry, alongside writing exercises. The second half of term will be devoted to the development of your own work via writing workshops and tutorials.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN720 - Writing The Poetic Sequence (30 credits)

This module looks at poetic writing in extended forms: the lyric series, sequence or long poem, by examining the development of these forms in the contemporary era. Students will examine the sequential structures available to poets and what happens when poems are placed in proximity, either as a connected thought/idea/line of argument, or when a writer seeks to give voice to a single idea and aims through this process to achieve epic breadth. By examining a range of formal approaches and models, students will become familiar with the wider field of contemporary poetic practice. The syllabus draws on some key British and North American practitioners of these forms, and students will be expected to research aspects of this practice in order to locate their own creative work within it, as well as develop a portfolio of unified work.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN701 - The Global Eighteenth Century (30 credits)

This module will examine the interactions between Britons and the world beyond Europe during the eighteenth century and the different sites of exchange and domination, as well as hybrid cultural articulations, that emerged from these interactions. We will look at a variety of texts that depict non-European people and places, as well as texts that were read by Britons and written by foreign and colonial peoples, to assess critically the transnational and transatlantic understanding and influences of the period. We will explore topics such as “Cosmopolitanism in the Eighteenth Century,” “Foreign Influence on British Identity,” “The Material Culture of Empire,” and “Transatlantic Culture.” Students taking this module will gain a firm grounding in the postcolonial study of eighteenth-century literature and the ethical and political implications of these texts and the ways in which we choose to approach them.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN702 - Thomas Hardy (30 credits)

This module will explore the range of Hardy's work including his novels, some short fiction poetry, prose, and autobiography, in the light of specifically nineteenth-century concerns such as the emergence of modernity, the impact of science, the beginnings of modernism, and the shift from the rural to the urban. Themes to be explored will include Hardy’s changing position as an author throughout his career; his development of forms of narrative; his views on history and philosophy; the representation of class; anxieties about social, cultural and economic change; the status of the human and the animal; his interest in evolutionary theory and its widespread effect; and finally, his career and position as a twentieth-century poet.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN703 - The 'Real' America: Class and Culture in the American Gilded Age (30 credits)

What is at stake when artists and writers decide to take the "real world" as the subject of their art? In the later nineteenth century, to depict "reality" in fiction and art became a radical act of social protest and critique. In an endeavour to locate the "truth" behind American society, realists moved well beyond pre-existing societal norms to investigate the squalid living conditions of immigrants in the New York slums, participate in Native American religious ceremonies, and probe the psychosexual neuroses of the middle classes. This module explores the American "ideology of realism" (Michael Elliot) in the late nineteenth- and early- twentieth centuries as expressed in a variety of forms and genres, including: the novel, painting, anthropology and photography. We will discuss the reasons behind the emergence of realism in the later nineteenth century, how it interacted with the new "mass culture", whether it critiqued or reinforced dominant racial, sexual, ethnic and class-based prejudices, and, finally, why it declined in the twentieth century as the favoured aesthetic of the American avant-garde. On this module we will move far beyond seeing realism as merely a tame, neutral artistic style to investigate how it pointed to a radical “way of seeing” the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century world. The module includes only 3 longer works (Wharton, Howells, and Twain).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN704 - Discord and Devotion: Society & Spirituality in Middle English Literatu (30 credits)

This module will introduce students to late-medieval models of social order and, against these official representations, explore how established concepts of identity and social status were debated, destabilized and renegotiated. Through analysing texts such as William Langland’s Piers Plowman, the letters of John Ball, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, selected lyrics and a variety of historiographical texts, the course will investigate the ways in which attempts to control social movement were challenged and contested. In a period in which traditional feudal social structures were being supplanted by an emergent proto-capitalist economy, the lower orders were demanding a new political platform and English literature reveals both social aspirations and reactionary anxieties.

In parallel with the political tumult, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries also saw a rise in non-official, heterodox forms of spirituality, licensing individual devotional practices that similarly challenged the perceived hegemony of the Church. Investigating works of affective devotion, like The Book of Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love, and a variety of religious lyrics and plays, in addition to Wycliffite and Lollard sermons, the module will uncover the growing popularity of devotional forms predicated upon a personal relationship with and experience of the divine. These practices (like their political counterparts) decentred spiritual authority and reveal a theological ambition which problematised orthodox religion in multiple ways.

Within these reimagined visions of social and religious structures are the seeds of new ideas that would shape the future of the English nation; in such visions the common man gains power and authority, women are empowered as spiritual leaders, and the authority of Church and State is subject to lay criticism and intervention.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN706 - The Love Poem, from Thomas Wyatt to Charli XCX (30 credits)

The Love Poem will tell a history of English poetry through the lens of its most important and singular genre. Students will interrogate the characteristics of modern poetry itself through an investigation of love, desire, gender and intimacy as they have been articulated through the changing lyrical tradition of the language. The module will examine key canonical writers from the beginnings of the English lyric, including Thomas Wyatt and William Shakespeare, through complications in metaphysical poetry, the ballad and Romanticism, up to present day representations of homosexual love, popular song and avant-garde expression. Poets will be studied alongside theorists such as Alain Badiou, Roland Barthes and Judith Butler, exploring the possible ways in which poetry can be said to challenge dominant modes of love, interact with their social environment through love poetry, and investigate, express and explain the experiences of attraction, attachment and loss.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN708 - Virginia Woolf (30 credits)

This module examines the development of Virginia Woolf's writing across the span of her life. It explores Woolf’s most important modernist texts alongside some of her lesser-known writings, and considers a range of literary forms she wrote in (novels, essays, short stories, auto/biography). As well as paying close attention to the distinct style of modernist literature, there will be consideration of various historical, cultural, philosophical, political and artistic contexts that influenced, and were influenced by, Woolf’s writing. Students will be introduced to the key critical debates on Woolf, featuring discussion of topics as diverse as feminism, visual art, the everyday, war, sexuality, gender, class, empire, science, nature and animality. With Woolf as its central focus, this module therefore seeks to understand the lasting significance of modernist literature.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN709 - Animals, Humans, Writing (30 credits)

What is the relationship between ‘animal’ and ‘human’, and how is this explored through writing? This module seeks to examine creaturely relations by focusing on literature from the 18th century up to the present, alongside key theoretical and contextual material that engages with questions concerning animality and humanity. We will focus on how writers imagine distinct animal worlds as well as how they understand the role of animals in human cultures. A range of novels, short stories and poems will raise questions about how we look at, think with, and try to give voice to animals, and topics covered will include ‘Becoming Animal’, ‘Listening to Animals’, ‘Animal Experiments' and ‘Tasting Animals’. Students taking this module will gain a firm grounding in the diverse critical field known as ‘animal studies’, whilst also considering the broader cultural, philosophical and ethical implications of how we think about the relationship between humans and animals.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN712 - Contemporary British and Irish Poetry (30 credits)

The module will focus on innovative poetry by British and Irish writers from the British Poetry Revival of the 1970s to the present day. A crucial organising principle throughout the module will be the close connections between these literary works and discourses in history, culture, politics and philosophy. The module will also introduce the students to how these poets—as a part of their creative process—engaged with concepts such as research, visuality, and performance. Writers to be studied include Caroline Bergvall, Sean Bonney, Allen Fisher, and Maggie O’Sullivan.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN713 - The New Woman: 1880-1920 (30 credits)

The New Woman, a controversial figure who became prominent in British literature in the late nineteenth century, challenged traditional views of femininity and represented a more radical understanding of women's nature and role in society. She was associated with a range of unconventional behaviour – from smoking and bicycle-riding to sexuality outside marriage and political activism. This module will examine some of the key literary texts identified with the New Woman phenomenon including women's journalism in the period. The module's reading will be organised around central thematic concerns such as: sexuality and motherhood; suffrage and politics; career and creativity. We will consider to what extent the New Woman was a media construction or whether the term reflected the lives of progressive women in the period. This module will also examine how the New Woman became a global phenomenon, beginning with the plays of Henrik Ibsen, before spreading to literature produced around the world by writers from Britain (eg Amy Levy, Evelyn Sharp) America (Charlotte Perkins Gilman), Australia (George Egerton), and New Zealand (Katherine Mansfield). The module will also consider the legacy of the New Woman into the early modernist period, through studying Virginia Woolf’s novel that depicts the suffrage movement, Night and Day.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN714 - Utopia: Philosophy and Literature (30 credits)

The module examines some key texts in the theory and literary presentation of utopia. In the first part of the module we will examine classic early utopian texts (Plato, More) and will set these in the context of the modern theory of historical progress (Hegel) the failure of that progress to materialise (Agamben) and the nature of hope for the future (Bloch). In the second part of the module, we will examine modern classics which look at the failure of the communist utopia (Zamyatin, Huxley, Orwell) and at later texts which revived the genre of utopia (LeGuin, Atwood).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN716 - Marxism, Literature and Culture (30 credits)

This module offers students a synoptic perspective on Marxist cultural criticism from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day in Europe, Russia and North America. It begins with an analysis of a selection from Marx’s own writings, with the aim of introducing key terms, such as “alienation,” “ideology,” and “dialectic.” Students’ understanding of these terms and their critical uses for literary and cultural studies will develop during the course of the module, as they encounter a range of important Marxist thinkers and their writings.



Throughout the module students will be invited to interrogate and transgress the boundaries separating literary from critical texts, and theory from practice. They will be invited to consider creative practice and Marxist criticism in dialogue with one another at particular historical moments. Although anchored in the literary and the textual, the module will also offer opportunities to think critically about the term “culture” itself in its broadest senses, encompassing a range of aesthetic and social practices, such as sport and music. Progressing through the great class conflicts of the early twentieth century, the Frankfurt School, New Left and anti-racist decolonization movements of the postwar period, up to the contemporary neoliberal moment, the module aims finally to offer students a set of tools with which to understand their own cultural encounters in the present as well as to reconfigure and re-evaluate the cultural knowledge they have accumulated in stages one and two of their degree programmes.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN717 - The Graphic Novel (30 credits)

This module focuses on the exploration of the graphic novel as a visual and literary medium. The module will interpret the term ‘graphic novel’ broadly, and incorporate discussions of comic books, political cartoons, as well as film and television adaptations as a part of its curriculum. The module will begin with an examination of the more mature aesthetic that became increasingly popular for graphic novels during the late 1980s, and examine how these developments have continued to evolve to the present day. Strong emphasis will be placed on readings informed by sociological and political discourses. Students will be encouraged to relate their close analysis of texts to topics such as the distinctions between art and popular culture, and the connections between literary and social history, as well as contemporary concerns such as identity politics, neo-liberal capitalism, protest, and anarchy. As such, the module will demonstrate how the study of graphic novels directly relates to several key concerns in the study of undergraduate English.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN667 - Harlem to Hogan's Alley: Black Writing in North America (30 credits)

This module will bring together works of poetry and fiction by a number of black writers in the USA and Canada in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. With a particular emphasis on migration, music, and urban space, we will explore the intellectual, political, and aesthetic imperatives that drive these writers to address questions of race, ethnicity, gender, belonging, representation, poverty, privilege, and trauma.

Beginning in Harlem in the 1920s, the moment when “the Negro was in vogue”, students will examine the ways in which black Americans and Canadians have sought to make their impact on the literary landscape, by turns exposing and employing the power structures of the dominant culture. This comparative look at US and Canadian literatures, however, also challenges students to scrutinize the construction of literary and other categories, and to consider the commonality and distinctive difference between black experience north and south of the 49th parallel.

Lectures/workshops will emphasise discussion of key moments and movements in African American / African Canadian arts; the significance of linguistic distinctiveness; the cultural self-categorisation of black, African American, Africadian and Halfrican identities; and the rise of African American literary theory.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN669 - Marriage, Desire and Divorce in Early Modern Literature (30 credits)

This module focuses on the theory and practice of marriage and divorce in early modern England and its treatment in the literature of the period. Examining a wide range of texts (drama, poetry, prose works and domestic handbooks alongside documentary sources such as wills, legal records and letters), it will explore the ways in which representations of marriage and its breakdown both reflected and informed the roles of men and women in early modern society. The relationships between discourses about gender, politics and the historical evidence about men and women's married lives in the period will be explored both through reading in the extensive secondary literature of gender, women's history and masculinity as well as through the study of primary sources such as wills, court records, advice books, popular literature (ballads and pamphlets, for example), literary texts (poems, plays and tracts), diaries and personal memoirs and material objects such as wedding rings and scold’s bridles, for example. From Shakespeare and Fletcher's dramas of happy and unhappy marriage and Spenser's poetry of marital bliss, to argument surrounding men and women's roles in marriage in the poetry and pamphlets of Milton and his contemporaries, we will also go in search of the personal accounts of women and men's experiences of marriage and its breakdown and the material artefacts which are testament to them.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN580 - Charles Dickens and Victorian England (30 credits)

The module will take a chronological, developmental path through Dickens’s career, including 'The Old Curiosity Shop', 'David Copperfield', 'Bleak House', 'Great Expectations' and 'A Christmas Carol'. Particular topics to be highlighted will include: changing views of childhood and the family; the city and Victorian modernity; gender and class; genre, narrative form and the narrator.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN583 - Postcolonial Writing (30 credits)

The module raises your awareness of contemporary issues in postcolonial writing, and the debates around them. This includes a selection of important postcolonial texts (which often happen to be major contemporary writing in English) and studies their narrative practice and their reading of contemporary culture. It focuses on issues such as the construction of historical narratives of nation, on identity and gender in the aftermath of globalisation and 'diaspora', and on the problems associated with creating a discourse about these texts.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN586 - Language and Place in Colonial and Postcolonial Poetry (30 credits)

This module will focus on a comparative study of twentieth-century poets writing in English from formerly colonised regions (Ireland, Caribbean, India). Writers studied will include W B Yeats, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, A K Ramanujan and Lorna Goodison. The aim of the course will be to evoke the complex relationship between local historical contexts, the effects of globalisation and the changing postcolonial aesthetics of their poetry. Particular attention will be paid to the role of poetry in shaping, as well as questioning, national consciousness and in the articulation of concepts of individual, gendered and cultural autonomy.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN588 - Innovation and Experiment in New York, 1945-2015 (30 credits)

The module is structured around poetry and fiction produced in New York since the war. The emphasis is primarily upon New York's experimental and avant-garde traditions, and one organising principle is the inter-connectedness of the arts in New York. The module introduces students to some of the main areas of culture in the city, from the New York school of poetry through Abstract Expressionism, early Punk and on to post-modern fiction. Writers to be studied will include John Cage, William Burroughs, John Ashbery and Paul Auster.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN604 - The Unknown: Reading and Writing (30 credits)

The Unknown asks you to think creatively and analytically and to learn by a combination of careful reading and experimental writing. You will be able to use the skills of critical analysis and close reading developed elsewhere in your degree in new ways and to take a fresh look at the study of literature. The course draws on the ideas writers have about writing, as well as on psychoanalysis, literary theory, fiction, poetry, drama and film. It asks you to think deeply about how, and why, you read and write.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN623 - Native American Literature (30 credits)

The module focuses on the literary production of North America’s indigenous peoples, drawing on the historical, cultural, and theoretical contexts of one tribe, the Anishinaabeg, or Ojibwe. Students will be encouraged to explore aesthetic and intellectual developments in Native literature and theory; to examine the nature of indigenous status in relation to both North America and the wider world; and to draw on their understanding of canonical literature and literary theory to isolate points of intersection and divergence between Native American and American literatures. We will cover a wide range of literary forms, from transcriptions of oral traditions, through autobiography, to the postmodern novel; and scrutinize and employ a number of strategies of reading the unfamiliar, from ethnological discourse to tribal literary nationalism.



The relationship between Native American literature and art will be a key feature of lecture/workshop discussion and, where appropriate, film screenings will be offered.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN633 - Bodies of Evidence: Reading The Body In Eighteenth Century Literature (30 credits)

This module explores the eighteenth-century fascination with bodies and the truths (or lies) bodies were supposed to reveal. The course focuses on the ways in which the body is read and constructed in eighteenth-century literature and how these readings and constructions reflect various concerns about class, race, gender and sexuality. Through the course of this module we will examine a range of literary representations of the body which seek both to control the body and to celebrate its destructive potential. We will read texts from a variety of genres, including medical literature, misogynist satire, sentimental novels, popular fiction, travel writing and pornography alongside recent critical work by Thomas Lacqueur, Michel Foucault, Roy Porter, Stallybrass and White, which illuminate the ideological stakes writers played for when writing about the body. Topics for discussion will include disability and deformity, race, the sentimental body, dress and the body, the body as a text and the relationship between the body and the body politic. The primary focus of this option will be literature, but we will also examine visual representations of the body in caricature and satire as well as in the portraiture.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN655 - Places and Journeys (30 credits)

This module explores places and journeys shaped by key modern historical processes: migration, travel, immigration, dispossession, colonial conquest, and post-colonial independence. From immigrant arrival and dislocation to national journeys and political fantasy, the course explores connections between journeys, locations, and literary production. The main objective is to think about places and journeys as sites and processes of negotiation and contradiction, convergence and discord, clash and reconciliation. Specific locations include: London, East Africa, and the Caribbean. Writers and texts include: Merle Collins (Angel), Naguib Mahfouz (Cairo Modern), Jean Rhys (Voyage in the Dark), and Sam Selvon (The Lonely Londoners).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN657 - The Brontes in Context (30 credits)

While the so-called ‘Brontë myth’ remains potent in popular culture today, the lives-and-works model associated with it continues to encourage readers to seek partially concealed Brontë sisters in their fictions. Beginning and ending with the problematic of mythmaking – its origins in Gaskell’s 'Life of Charlotte Brontë' and its subsequent perpetuation in film and other rewritings - this module will restore attention to the rich literary contribution made by the sisters through an intensive focus on their novels and selected poetry in the context of Victorian debates about gender and the woman question. Situating the Brontë myth in relation to other forms of mythmaking in the period (for example, ideologies of class, gender and empire), it will consider a small selection of film adaptations and go on to examine the Brontës’s experiments with narrative voice and form, their variations upon the novel of education, the tensions between romance and realism in their writing and their engagement with religious and philosophical questions as well with the political, economic and social conditions of women in mid-Victorian culture. We will also consider a range of modern creative and critical engagements with the Brontës' literary works..

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN658 - American Crime Fiction (30 credits)

This module explores the history and practice of crime fiction in the United States, from the detective stories of Edgar Allan Poe in the 1840s through the evolution of hardboiled narratives in the early and mid-twentieth century, and on into the 21st century novel. Attention is also paid to developments in film and television which parallel those in fiction, such as the birth of film noir and the contemporary cop series. During the course of the term, our readings of crime fiction will be supported by critical and theoretical texts by Franco Moretti, Tzvetan Todorov and others. Topics we will address include the relationship between high and low culture, how and why genres evolve, and the ways in which crime fiction addresses questions of race and gender

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN659 - Contemporary Irish Writing (30 credits)

This module will consider a broad variety of Irish writing from about the 1970s to the present, sampling significant developments in poetry, drama and prose. Seminar discussion will focus on recurrent issues addressed in the texts selected for study, such as history, cultural memory, violence and society, queer sexualities and gender relations, national and cultural identities, and the negotiation of what the historian Roy Foster has called the ‘varieties of Irishness’.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN660 - Writing Lives in Early Modern England: Diaries, Letters and Secret Selv (30 credits)

Who wrote about their lives while Shakespeare was writing his plays and Queen Elizabeth was on the throne? Why did they do it, how and by whom did they intend their writing to be read, and what sort of things did they think were interesting about their lives? This module introduces you to the variety of sources available for exploring early modern life writing. Studying better- against less well-known texts (e.g. Anne Clifford’s Diary and Shakespeare’s plays; early modern wills, letters and recipe books), and literary works alongside more pragmatic writings, the module will offer you an opportunity to investigate the private thoughts of the men and women of this crucial period of English history. Writing Lives is for anyone who has ever thought, even briefly, about keeping a diary – it encourages you to consider big questions like the nature of writing; the status of individuality; the forms which identity might take; but also stranger questions such as how the way you wrote a letter might have related to Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be’ speech.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN661 - The Stranger (30 credits)

This module takes the figure of ‘the stranger’ as a starting point for exploring the different ideas and contexts of belonging that have shaped the novel over the last century. Contexts will include modernity and the Holocaust, race and gender in modern America, and contemporary fictions of exile and encounter. Among the writers considered will be Joseph Conrad, Toni Morrison, and J M Coetzee. The course will also draw on a variety of twentieth-century cultural, social and psychological conceptions of belonging, from the work of Sigmund Freud through to the more recent ideas of Homi Bhabha, Stuart Hall and Zygmunt Bauman.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN684 - Clouds, Waves & Crows: Writing the Natural, 1800 to the Present (30 credits)

This module will look at a variety of texts, in a variety of forms, from the early nineteenth century to the present. The poems, essays, novels, films, paintings and autobiographies all engage with and question our relationship to the world around us. They sometimes look at nature, but more often ask what it is, what do we use it for, what is our relationship to it, what does it mean for us, what do we make it mean and to what ends, or what is the role that language plays in creating or representing our role in the world? Moreover, while nature may be seen to be something ‘out there’ the module seeks to ask how it is connected to our understanding of identity, history, or sexuality.

The module is not arranged around primary creative texts, and their theoretical accompaniments, but has a more ecological approach to the idea of the creative/critical boundary which means that some weeks’ core texts may be theoretical ones (such as John Gray’s Straw Dogs). This approach is reflected in the modes of assessment where students are invited to produce either two essays, or one traditionally critical one, and one work of creative non-fiction that may encompass aspects of memoir, poetry, psychogeography or philosophy.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN676 - Cross-Cultural Coming-of-Age Narratives (30 credits)

If the Bildungsroman has been criticised for being outmoded and conservative, how do contemporary writers interrogate and expand its scope and importance? Are coming-of-age narratives merely private stories or can they be read in ways which highlight their social functions, and what kind of theoretical, aesthetic and cultural perspectives can we apply to scrutinise these functions? This module will bring together a range of texts and films from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that can be read within and against the literary tradition of the Bildungsroman or the coming-of-age narrative. Drawing on material from the US, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe, we will spend time analysing the representation of the coming-of-age experience in terms of content and form and assess the ideological functions of the Bildungsroman in a cross-cultural context. Particular attention will be given to questions of racial and ethnic identity, migration, colonialism, memory, trauma, belonging and sexuality. We will also explore the connection of the Bildungsroman with genres such as autobiography, memoir, young adult fiction, travel narrative, graphic novel, and film.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching & Assessment

Modules are taught by weekly seminars. Core modules include a weekly lecture, plus individual supervision is offered for the Long Essay. Assessment at Stage 1 is by a mixture of coursework and examination. Some modules may include an optional practical element.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • introduce you to a range of predominantly British and American literatures, and study them both as literature and as sources of technical expertise, inspiration and best practice in their own writing
  • enable you to develop an historical awareness of literary traditions and place your own endeavour within that tradition
  • develop your understanding, critical appreciation and practical powers of application of the expressive resources of language
  • offer sustained opportunities for you to discover and develop your potential for creative writing in more than one generic area
  • offer generous scope for the study of literature and creative writing within an interdisciplinary context
  • develop your ability to argue a point of view with clarity and cogency, both orally and in written form
  • develop your ability to assimilate and organise a mass of diverse information
  • offer you the experience of a variety of teaching styles and approaches to the study of literature and contemporary writing
  • develop your independent critical thinking, judgement, originality and self-reliance
  • provide a basis for the study of English, creative writing or related disciplines at a higher level
  • provide a basis for future creative writing in a number of different genres
  • provide a basis in knowledge and skills for those intending to teach English literature and/or creative writing
  • provide the opportunity to experience another culture’s approaches to English and American literature and creative writing
  • if studying in continental Europe, to develop the ability to communicate in another language, in part through the provision of language modules at the host University.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • a wide range of authors and texts from different periods of literary history, in both British and American literature
  • the principal literary genres, fiction, poetry, drama and of other kinds of writing and communication; insight into the varying demands imposed by their written production
  • the challenges involved in producing original imaginative writing as they relate to several different genres
  • literatures in English from countries outside Britain and America
  • traditions in literary criticism and their relationship with creative writing
  • terminology used in literary criticism
  • the cultural and historical contexts in which literature is written, transmitted and read
  • critical theory and its applications, understood within its historical contexts
  • literary criticism as a practice subject to considerable variation of approach.

Intellectual skills

You develop the following intellectual skills:

  • application of the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
  • evaluation of critical interpretations
  • ability to synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of critical theory and general methodology; ability to synthesise material from a number of sources in a coherent creative whole
  • ability to make discriminations and selections of relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge or of a body of creative material
  • exercise of problem-solving skills, especially in the context of creative writing
  • the ability to organise and present research findings
  • the ability to frame oral criticism of creative work sensitively and constructively and to digest it to good effect.

Subject-specific skills

You develop the following subject-specific skills:

  • enhanced skills in the close critical analysis of literary texts and written creative work in progress
  • ability to structure and edit original creative work
  • informed critical understanding of the variety of critical and theoretical approaches to the study of literature and contemporary writing
  • ability to articulate knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories relating to the study of literature and technical alternatives and their implications in the context of creative writing
  • sensitivity to generic conventions in the study of literature and to their implications for the practising writer
  • very well-developed linguistic resourcefulness including attention to tone and register and a grasp of standard critical terminology
  • articulate responsiveness to literary and other persuasive language
  • appropriate scholarly practice in the presentation of formal written work, in particular in bibliographic and annotational practices
  • appropriate professional practice in the presentation of creative work, in particular in formatting and normal submission procedure
  • understanding of how cultural norms, assumptions and practices influence questions of judgement
  • appreciation of the value of collaborative intellectual work in developing critical judgement.

Transferable skills

You develop the following transferable skills:

  • developed powers of communication and the capacity to argue a point of view, orally and in written form, with clarity, organisation and cogency
  • highly developed writing skills and enhanced fluency in creative, discursive and general communicative contexts
  • enhanced confidence in the efficient presentation of ideas designed to stimulate critical debate
  • enhanced confidence in the writing and presentation of original projects
  • developed critical acumen and critical diagnostic skills
  • the ability to assimilate and organise substantial quantities of complex information or creative material of diverse kinds
  • competence in the planning and execution of essays and project-work and in the conception, planning, execution and editing of individual creative work
  • enhanced capacity for independent thought, intellectual focus, reasoned judgement, and self-criticism
  • enhanced original creativity, imagination, judgement and powers of self-criticism
  • enhanced skills in collaborative intellectual or creative work, including more finely tuned listening and questioning skills
  • the ability to understand, interrogate and apply a variety of theoretical positions and weigh the importance of alternative perspectives
  • the ability to respond to a variety of creative positions while sustaining confidence in your own
  • research skills, including scholarly information retrieval skills
  • IT skills: word-processing, email communication, the ability to access electronic data.

Careers

Throughout your studies, you learn to think critically and to work independently; your communication skills improve and you learn to express your opinions passionately and persuasively, both in writing and orally. These key transferable skills are essential for graduates as they move into the employment market.

Our graduates have gone into: journalism, broadcasting and media, publishing, writing and teaching; more general areas such as banking, marketing analysis and project management; or on to further study for postgraduate qualifications.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below, students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB including English Literature or English Language and Literature grade B

Access to HE Diploma

The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF;OCR) on a case by case basis please contact us via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 overall or 17 at HL, including HL English A1/A2/B at 5/6/6 OR English Literature A/English Language and Literature A (or Literature A/Language and Literature A of another country) at HL 5 or SL 6

International students

The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about our country-specific requirements.

Please note that if you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes through Kent International Pathways.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. Our funding opportunities for 2017 entry have not been finalised. However, details of our proposed funding opportunities for 2016 entry can be found on our funding page.  

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. Details of the scholarship for 2017 entry have not yet been finalised. However, for 2016 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our scholarships pages. Please review the eligibility criteria on that page. 

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Fees

The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £13810

As a guide only, UK/EU/International students on an approved year abroad for the full 2017/18 academic year pay an annual fee of £1,350 to Kent for that year. Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. Please note that for 2017/18 entrants the University will increase the standard year in industry fee for home/EU/international students to £1,350.

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

The University of Kent intends to increase its regulated full-time tuition fees for all Home and EU undergraduates starting in September 2017 from £9,000 to £9,250. This is subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise by 2.8%.

Key Information Sets


The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

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