English Studies

Please find details below of the 1st year English Modules

ENGU911 - Author, Reader and Text

The aims of the module are to introduce students to the critical and analytical study of literature, and to some of the theoretical issues arising from this, through close attention to a wide range of nineteenth and twentieth century literary and non-literary texts. In particular, the module will address the following fundamental questions:

What is a text?

What is an author?

What is a reader?

What are their respective roles in relation to the interpretation of texts?

Convenor - Kirstie Blair

ENGU912 - Texts and Contexts

The main aim of this module is to enable students to produce readings of literary texts that show an awareness of a range of contextual frameworks (literary, historical, cultural, generic, theoretical). The point is not to provide ‘backgrounds’ to the texts studied but to give students the skills for reading texts in the light of their knowledge of how texts are situated within particular contexts, both at the time of their writing and when they are read now. The module will continue and extend the close reading and conceptual skills introduced in ENG911 but it is not necessary to have taken ENG911 to register for and achieve success in ENG912.

Among the various contexts that will be relevant to the texts studied on the module are:

  • The Gothic and the development of the novel form in relation to Northanger Abbey;
  • Feminist, Queer and Psychoanalytic theory with reference to the Pre-Raphaelite poets;
  • Postcolonial theory and the history of Indian independence in Midnight’s Children;
  • The conventions of elegaic poetry in a selection of elegies
  • Renaissance ideas about justice and vengeance in Measure for Measure

Assessment: two written assignments, of approx. 2000-2,500 words, the first counting for 40% and the second 60%. There will be an opportunity to do a creative writing exercise in relation to the material covered for the first assignment.

Set Texts

The Norton Anthology of Poetry, (5th Edition 2006), £32.99, ed.Ferguson, et al. (London and New York: Norton). Note that this is also a set book for ENG911.

Austen, Jane, Northanger Abbey (Norton Critical Edition, 2004), ed. Susan Fraiman (London and New York: Norton)

The Pre-Raphaelites: From Rosetti to Ruskin, ed. Dinah Roe (London: Penguin Classics, 2010)

Rushdie, Salman, Midnight’s Children (London: Vintage Classics, 2006 OR 2008)

Shakespeare, William, Measure for Measure (New Cambridge Series, 1991 or 2006), ed. Brian Gibbons (Cambridge: CUP)

Convenor - Katie Halsey

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