Subject details

  • Topics
    • Institutions of Literature (Weeks 1-3)
    • The Burden of History (Weeks 4-6)
    • Global Movements (Weeks 7-9)
    • Poetry and Disaster (Weeks 10-12)
    • Essay Workshop (Week 13)

Students are expected to:

1. Analyse and compare literary texts across a range of genres, including the novel, the essay, poetry, and hybrid genres, using a sound critical vocabulary and scholarly research

2. Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts

3. Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field

4. Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters

5. Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

  • Assignment 1 - Criticism in Public (50%)
  • Assignment 2 - Short Research Essay (30%)
  • Assignment 3 - Forum Participation (20%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

Entry Requirements

You must have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject:

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject explores the role of literature in the twenty-first century. It focuses on how writing in a range of genres participates in contemporary debates and controversies, including discussions over race, globalisation, terrorism, climate change, ethics, and other major contemporary issues. We will consider how the circumstances in which literature is written affect how writers engage in these debates, looking at the influence of creative writing programmes, digital media, and literary celebrity.

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