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Undergraduate Courses 2017

English, American and Postcolonial Literature with an Approved Year Abroad - BA (Hons)

Canterbury

Overview

English at Kent is challenging, flexible, and wide-ranging. It covers both traditional areas (such as Shakespeare or Dickens) and newer fields such as American literature, creative writing and recent developments in literary theory. 

In this degree programme (alongside a selection of literature modules) you take modules that address the phenomenon of empire and its contemporary consequences: for example, nationhood, diaspora and migration. The material studied includes literary texts and theoretical texts as well as life-writing. You are encouraged to consider how these texts reflect on the colonial experience and the construction of a narrative of its aftermath.

You spend the year between second and final year studying abroad, making the degree a four-year programme. Spending a year abroad allows you to develop a different perspective on your studies and to immerse yourself in a new culture. Previous destinations include North America, Europe and Asia.

You can also study this programme as a three-year degree without a year abroad. For details, see English, American and Postcolonial Literature.

About the School of English

The School of English is a large and thriving department but we take great care in ensuring that it is a supportive environment in which to be a student. From the moment you arrive you are an integral part of a scholarly community of students, teachers and researchers and participate in a dialogue which seeks to push the boundaries of the subject into new fields of social and cultural inquiry. You are taught by leading international researchers and award-winning creative writers in a location steeped in literary history.

Independent rankings

English and Creative Writing at Kent was ranked 14th in The Guardian University Guide 2017 and Creative Writing was ranked 14th in The Complete University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, 95% of our English students were satisfied with the quality of teaching.

For graduate prospects, English and Creative Writing at Kent was ranked 12th in The Guardian University Guide 2017.

Course structure

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules 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 study our compulsory module EN333 Romanticism; you then choose at least two others from the list of Stage 1 modules. You can take all four 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.

Stage 1 students studying English and American Literature also have the option to study a term-long creative writing module that can be taken by all Stage 1 English and American Literature students (EN334: Ideas and Practice: Introduction to Writing Poetry and Prose) and an additional term-long literature module (EN335: Books that Shaped Culture: An Introduction to Literature).

In Stage 2 you choose EN695 Empire, New Nations and Migration and three other literature modules. In Stage 3, you take the Postcolonial Long Essay and choose three other

modules, at least one of which should be a postcolonial module. In addition to this, at least one of the literature modules you take over Stages 2 and 3 must be in pre-1800 literature. A selection of the other modules available are listed below.

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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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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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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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

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

This course introduces students to a range of writings from the late medieval and Tudor period. It focuses on a number of central genres in English writing that emerge between the late fourteenth and early sixteenth centuries, including romance, fabliaux, satirical, and religious writing. The course is designed to introduce a genre or theme with reference to Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and his other writings, especially his lyrics and shorter poetry, thus allowing this accessible author to initiate the students in issues that will be pertinent in respect of less familiar writers and writings.



The themes and theories covered by the course will vary from year to year in response to the lecture programme and to the emphases made by individual teachers, but they will include such topics as authorship, reading, patronage, translation, gender, sexuality, iconography, piety, personal identity, imagination, historicism, legend, medievalism, representation, audience, and the move from manuscript to print.

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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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. It will explore the development of dramatic writing, the status of playing companies 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 his 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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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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EN689 - Modernism (30 credits)

This module features key modernist texts, for example the work of Ezra Pound, H.D., T.S. Eliot, 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 1910-1930. One focus in the module will be the notion of the artist as applied to the writer as an art-practitioner. Other texts which might form part of the curriculum may include a limited selection of works by Mina Loy, Wyndham Lewis,, Elizabeth Bowen, F.T. Marinetti, Samuel Beckett, Georg Lukács, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Jacques Derrida and Paul De Man. Other topics include modes of representation, language and experience, colonialism and modernism, textuality and identity, war and democracy, class and politics, 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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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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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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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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Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally.  You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability. 

You spend your year abroad at one of our partner universities. Previous destinations include: North America, Asia and Europe. To be eligible for the year abroad, you need to achieve an average of 60% or more at the end of Stage 1 and adhere to any progression requirements in Stage 2. 

The year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and does not count towards your final degree classification. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. To find out more, please see Go Abroad.

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:

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, family memoir, young adult fiction, graphic novel, and film. Writers studied in this module include Richard Wright, Jamaica Kincaid, Sandra Cisneros, Sherman Alexie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Marjane Satrapi, and we will watch films including My Beautiful Laundrette and Bend it Like Beckham.

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 Second World War. The emphasis is on 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, Barbara Guest, William Burroughs, John Ashbery, Patti Smith and Paul Auster.

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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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

Edgar Allan Poe in the 1840s through to the present day. Crime fiction will be understood

broadly to encompass a range of generic categories such as detective, hardboiled and

police procedural novels and stories. Attention will also be paid to developments in cinema

and television which parallel those in fiction, such as film noir and the contemporary cop

series. Strong emphasis will be placed on historically informed reading and students will be

encouraged to relate the close analysis of texts to shifts in narrative form as well as the

establishment and transgression of generic conventions.



The study of American crime fiction reaches directly into the heart of many of the key

concerns of undergraduate English. Questions about the distinctions between high and low

culture, the seductiveness of particular narrative forms, and dialectic relations between

literary and social history will all be addressed. Students will have the opportunity to read

crime fiction alongside elements of Marxist, narrative and genre theory. Eventually they will

be able to consider how crime fiction has evolved in its engagement with questions of

race, gender and sexuality in the United States, from the construction of white masculinity in the hardboiled genre to the policing of black communities in the neoliberal city.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN659 - Contemporary Irish Writing (30 credits)

Much Irish writing in the 20th and 21st centuries has been torn between tradition and innovation, between the need to define a national identity in opposition to Britain and the desire to transcend national boundaries and embrace a cosmopolitan modernity. With four nobel laureates in the 20th century (Yeats, Shaw, Beckett, Heaney), modern Irish literature has gained international recognition. In recent years, Irish Literature has undergone surprising changes in theme and content, moving from the insularity of parochialism to the emergence of the 'Global Irish novel". The charting of this development will provide an important framework for the discussion in this module of recurrent issues in Irish writing, 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'. The module will consider a broad variety of Irish writing from 1975 to 2014: sampling significant developments in poetry, drama and prose.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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

This module introduces students to the variety of sources which are available for exploring early modern life writing. In a period described as 'early modern' partly because of its perceived development away from medieval notions of identity and towards a properly modern subjectivity, this module offers students an opportunity to explore a theoretical concept through its manifestations in literary and material form. Studying better- against less well-known texts (e.g. Hamlet, Anne Clifford’s Diary; early modern wills), and ‘literary’ works alongside more pragmatic writings, the module will consider such questions as the nature of writing; the status of individuality; the forms which identity might take; and the intended audience for such works in this period. Exploring the nature of early modern private lives, it will examine their key influences, such as literacy, gender and spiritual identity.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN661 - The Stranger (30 credits)

This course explores the intersections between nation, narration and globalisation in the twentieth and twenty-first century novel. It will focus this exploration through textual representations of 'the stranger', a figure theorised since the beginning of the twentieth century as symptomatic of modernity in European cultures, and more recently by postcolonial critics as the paradigm through which the effects of globalisation are ‘encountered’ in contemporary ‘multicultural’ national and transnational spaces. Students will be encouraged to analyse the historical and conceptual relations between novel and nation and the particular ways in which the body of ‘the stranger’ has been reified through them. At the same time, they will be invited to consider ‘the stranger’ as a disorientating embodiment of distance and proximity, and to evaluate how this dynamic constructs and deconstructs the form and boundaries of the novel as a genre, and the surrounding familial, national and racial paradigms of belonging. Through discussions of the theoretical work of writers such as Georg Simmel, Freud, Fanon, Edward Said, Judith Butler, Zygmunt Bauman, and Homi Bhabha, students will be asked especially to consider the mutual effects of estrangement across gendered, racial, and colonial divides. The broad aims of the course are to problematise ‘the stranger’ as a literary means of orientating the individual and the nation; to situate the twentieth and twenty-first century novel as a symptomatic site for ‘strange encounters’; and to understand the extent to which it poses ‘strangeness’ and ‘homeliness’ as inseparable, necessary and possible acts of narration.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN580 - Charles Dickens and Victorian England (30 credits)

This module gives an opportunity for intensive study of one of the major novelists of Victorian England. There are many different views and interpretations of Dickens circulating in our culture. He has been dismissed as a writer of cosy sentimentality, celebrated as a radical critic of his age, and admired for his prodigious output and creative innovation.



Studying a selection of his fiction, we will consider a wide variety of interpretations, in the light of the most current literary criticism of Dickens's works. We will analyse Dickens’s texts in terms of narrative method, genre, characterisation, imagery and book history and – in the process – we will examine how the novels respond to, or challenge, significant aspects of Victorian culture and society such as class, gender, family, nation, childhood, the city, empire, industrialisation, and modernity.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN583 - Postcolonial Writing (30 credits)

The module raises students' 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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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 read a variety of important literary and critical texts published over the last 200 years – mostly in the last 50 years. You will be asked 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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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. Our focus will be 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. Efforts to regulate the body (particularly the female, plebeian and racialised body) became the focus of many reformers and philanthropists in the period who sought to recuperate the productive (and reproductive) labour of idle or transgressive bodies to serve the nation's moral and financial economies. Other writers, however, emphasised the body's potential to work against social and cultural norms, focusing on events such as the masquerade, in which women dressed as men and aristocrat’s as chimney sweeps.



Through the course of this module we will examine a range of literary representations of the body which seek both the control the body and to celebrate its disruptive potential. We will read texts from a variety of genres including medical literature, misogynist satire, sentimental novels, popular fiction, travel writing and pornography. Primary texts will be read alongside recent critical work by Thomas Lacquer, Michel Foucault, Roy Porter, and Peter Stallybrass and Allon 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 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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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 genres 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 early 19th 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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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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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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EN597 - Postcolonial Long Essay (30 credits)

Postcolonial Long Essay



This module enables students to devise a research project on a literary topic of their own choosing (subject to the availability of an appropriate supervisor and the viability of the student's proposal, which must be submitted by the specified deadline in the spring term of Stage 2). It is an opportunity for students to formulate their own critical questions and to explore in greater depth an area of literary studies that appeals strongly to them. Students receive a series of one-to-one supervisions to guide them in the development of their research skills and in the planning of an extended piece of critical writing. The project must be clearly distinct from work the student has submitted for previous modules, and should reflect the fact that the student has undertaken work equivalent to that demanded by a Special Module. Students will be expected to demonstrate a wide-ranging knowledge of the chosen topic and to situate their own argument in relation to relevant critical debates

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN598 - Postcolonial Long Essay (30 credits)

This module enables students to devise a research project on a literary topic of their own choosing (subject to the availability of an appropriate supervisor and the viability of the student's proposal, which must be submitted by the specified deadline in the spring term of Stage 2). It is an opportunity for students to formulate their own critical questions and to explore in greater depth an area of literary studies that appeals strongly to them. Students receive a series of one-to-one supervisions to guide them in the development of their research skills and in the planning of an extended piece of critical writing. The project must be clearly distinct from work the student has submitted for previous modules, and should reflect the fact that the student has undertaken work equivalent to that demanded by a Special Module. Students will be expected to demonstrate a wide-ranging knowledge of the chosen topic and to situate their own argument in relation to relevant critical debates.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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Teaching & Assessment

Modules are taught by weekly seminars. Compulsory modules include a weekly lecture, with individual supervision 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 postcolonial literatures in English (in addition to English and American literature) and encourage you to develop your own interests and expertise in fields of literary study
  • enable you to develop an historical awareness of literary traditions
  • develop your understanding and critical appreciation of the expressive resources of language
  • offer opportunities for you to develop your potential for creative writing
  • offer generous scope for the study of literature 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
  • develop your independent critical thinking and judgement
  • provide a basis for the study of English or postcolonial studies or related disciplines at a higher level
  • provide a basis in knowledge and skills for those intending to teach English or postcolonial literatures, including a broad frame of cultural reference
  • provide the opportunity to experience another culture’s approaches to English and American literature
  • 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:

  • contemporary postcolonial writing in English, and English and American literatures
  • the principal literary genres, fiction, poetry drama and of other kinds of writing and communication
  • postcolonial theory and traditions in literary criticism
  • the challenges of creative writing
  • terminology used in literary theory and 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
  • the study of literature in its relation to other disciplines.

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 make discriminations and selections of relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge
  • exercise of problem-solving skills
  • the ability to organise and present research findings.

Subject-specific skills

You develop the following subject-specific skills:

  • enhanced skills in the close critical analysis of literary texts
  • informed critical understanding of the variety of critical and theoretical approaches to the study of literature
  • ability to articulate knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories relating to English studies
  • sensitivity to generic conventions in the study of literature
  • well-developed language use and awareness, including a grasp of standard critical terminology
  • articulate responsiveness to literary language
  • appropriate scholarly practice in the presentation of formal written work, in particular in bibliographic and annotational practices
  • 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
  • enhanced confidence in the efficient presentation of ideas designed to stimulate critical debate
  • developed critical acumen
  • the ability to assimilate and organise substantial quantities of complex information of diverse kinds
  • competence in the planning and execution of essays and project-work
  • enhanced skills in creative writing (where the relevant modules have been taken)
  • enhanced capacity for independent thought, intellectual focus, reasoned judgement, and self-criticism
  • enhanced skills in collaborative intellectual work, including more finely tuned listening skills
  • the ability to understand, interrogate and apply a variety of theoretical positions and weigh the importance of alternative perspectives
  • 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 points overall or 17 points 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

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support for the duration of their course.

Scholarships

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. 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.

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Enquire or order a prospectus

Resources

Contacts

Related schools

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

Fees

The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £13810

Fees for Year Abroad/Industry

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.

UK/EU fee paying students

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

In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.

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

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.

Publishing Office - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

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