BA English Literature & Language

Welcome to the course page for the BA English Literature and English Language. You can find a few details on our first-year modules below.

Can’t wait to see you in September!

First Year Modules 2017-18

What is Literature?

This module encourages students to think about two related things: what we mean by literature or the literary; and why, for any literary work, a particular form has been chosen in which to address the reader. The module gives you a historical map of developments in the forms of poetry, prose and drama and the texts are chosen from various periods, including the contemporary, in order to explore why and how literature, of these many periods, might still matter today. Assessment: 100% coursework.

Useful preliminary reading:
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. Penguin
James Joyce, ‘The Dead’, in Dubliners. Oxford World’s Classics
Emily Berry, ed. Best British Poetry 2015. Salt Publishing
William Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing. Arden, New Cambridge, Oxford, or RSC/Macmillan
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest. Methuen
Virginia Woolf, ‘The Mark on the Wall’, in The Mark on the Wall and Other Short Fiction. Oxford World’s Classics

Keywords for Literary Studies

What is meant by ‘realism’ or the ’image’ or the ‘unconscious’? This module introduces a series of ‘keywords’ that have been historically central to the study of literature. By exploring these words and concepts in relation to specific critical approaches to literary works, the module helps you develop your own critical and argumentative skills. Assessment: 100% coursework.

Useful preliminary reading:
Henry James, The Turn of the Screw. Oxford World’s Classics.
Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual’ and ‘The Man With the Twisted Lip’, in The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Penguin
Virginia Woolf, Orlando: A Biography. Oxford World’s Classics.

Words, Meaning and Text

In this module we begin by looking at how the English language works and ensuring you feel confident about using relevant terminology before going on to examine how words change over time, how the language borrows words from other languages, how words are related to each other, and how sentences work to create a coherent text. Assessment: 50% coursework; 50% Examination.

Useful preliminary reading:
H. Jackson & E. Zé Amvela (2007) Words, Meaning and Vocabulary. Continuum.

Language and Text (option)

On this optional module we explore connections between language study and literary interpretation through the detailed analysis of authorial choice of lexis, phonology and meaning, regular metres and lineation, narrative point of view, the use of deixis, modality and attitude and the pragmatic analysis of dramatic dialogue. Assessment: 100% Coursework.

Useful preliminary reading:
M. Toolan (1998) Language in Literature: An Introduction to Stylistics. Arnold.

Language Myths (option)

This introductory module critically examines a number of popular fallacies about language and specific languages through a careful examination of facts and data. Assessment: 100% Coursework.

Useful preliminary reading:
L. Bauer and P. Trudgill (1998) Language Myths. Penguin.

Shakespeare and Performance (option)

The module samples a mix of Shakespeare’s plays and provides a broad introduction to the various emphases of contemporary Shakespeare study. We explore the specific forms of Shakespearean drama in their original contexts, including the performance practices of the time, but also in terms of modern and current scholarship. Assessment: 100% Coursework.

Useful preliminary reading:
Julius Caesar; Richard II; Macbeth; Twelfth Night; Measure for Measure; Hamlet; The Winter’s Tale

Poetry and Politics (option)

This module introduces students to both the varieties of modern poetry and the ways in which poetry engages with the world. It focuses principally on poetic works drawn from the last 200 years, focusing on topics like gender and the body, political voices, violence and conflict. Assessment: 100% Coursework.

Useful preliminary reading:
Terry Eagleton, How to Read a Poem. Wiley.
Rhian Williams, The Poetry Toolkit. Bloomsbury.

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