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Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. critically engage and respond to a wide range of literary texts
  2. develop analytical and research skills that can be applied to past and present cultural and literary debates
  3. communicate historical and theoretical concepts in scholarly written forms
  4. demonstrate a greater understanding of the way in which literary texts and literary language function to produce political critique
  5. achieve a greater understanding of the historical and often hierarchical deployment of concepts of gender, class and ethnicity
  6. engage in informed critical discussion on subject content with peers and tutors, to respond to others' points of views, and to argue a critical position.
    • Introduction
    • The Poetry of the Monstrous
    • The Poetry of Dissent
    • Displacement and Survival
    • Outsiders and Entitlement
    • The Politics of Tyranny
    • Revolutionary Poetry
    • The Americans
    • I Love Dick
    • Fictions of Identity and the Politics of Excess
    • The Politics of the Fantastic
    • Don't Lose Your Head: Game of Thrones
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Online materials

      • Resources and Links

No eligibility requirements

Special requirements

No special requirements

The relationship between politics and literature is never simple. Writers have always addressed political issues: supporting or resisting revolution, analysing the ethics of war or the sophistries of political language, interrogating ideas of power embedded in gender, class, ethnicity, industrialisation and sexuality. Literary language can make available subversive and powerful critiques of dominant political structures and hierarchies just as it can normalise inequality and stifle dissent. Poets and novelists participate in the dissemination of myths, stereotypes and narratives that privilege certain worldviews over others. Covering writing from the Renaissance to the present this subject addresses a series of political issues as they are constructed in literary texts, and looks at the aesthetic forms writers invent and deploy in order to reflect, produce and contain change.

  • Essay (30%)
  • Essay (40%)
  • Online Participation (20%)
  • Practical Criticism (10%)

Related degrees

undergraduate MAQ-ART-DEG-2019

Bachelor of Arts

  • Major in Ancient History
  • Major in English
  • Major in Modern History
  • Major in Philosophy
  • Major in Politics
  • Major in Society and Culture
  • Major in Sociology
  • Major in Creative Writing