Run by School of Arts, Culture and Language
30.000 Credits or 15.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Prof Andrew Hiscock
Overall aims and purpose
This module aims to enhance the options available on the MA in English Literature ranging in focus from the Elizabethan to the Regency periods. MA students taking this wide-ranging and challenging module will have the opportunity to explore the ways in which prose fiction emerged as a dominant genre over a two-hundred year period. In addition, there is ample opportunity throughout to explore scholarly accounts of the studied works and to reflect upon the ways in which the art of fiction has been theorised down the generations by critics interested in genre, gender, narratology and social critique. The module begins by focusing on tales from popular culture circulating in the final decade of Elizabeth I's reign and then goes onto review the emergence of pastoral romances, rogue biographies, epistolary novels, picaresque and gothic narratives and concludes with historical fiction and novels of courtship penned by Scott and Austen at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Over eleven seminars, this module offers the opportunity to study critical discussions of the art of fiction as well as performing close readings of a new prose narrative each week. The first half of the module will explore examples of fiction in the period 1580-1720 composed by writers such as Deloney, Nashe, Wroth, Behn, Defoe, Congreve and Heywood. In the middle of the module, the group will have the opportunity to study a major work of fiction from the eighteenth century, such as Fielding's Tom Jones, Sterne's Tristram Shandy or Richardson's Clarissa. In the second half of the module, we turn our attention to later developments in the art of fiction exemplified in the comic writing of Smollett, the gothic novels of Radcliffe, the nation-building historical fictions of Scott, and the rise of the novel of courtship with figures such as Burney or Austen. Assessment will comprise: a) a recorded 15-minute powerpoint presentation and b) a 4,000-word essay. Both of these exercises will be tightly linked to the critical and textual materials covered during the module and will be evaluated as critical enquiries conducted by students at an advanced level in English studies.
C- to C+
C- to C+ (50-59%): Typically, a candidate’s work will show many of the following qualities:
A satisfactory level of knowledge, analysis and expression. Some familiarity with, and understanding of, relevant theoretical issues. Generally sound organisation of argument, with some critical ability. Accurate expression. Competent use of quotation and references.
Excellent (70%+): Typically, the work of a candidate will show many of the following qualities:
Thorough knowledge and understanding of relevant theories and types of analysis. Thorough knowledge of a range of sources and the capacity to engage these critically. Introduction and discussion of original ideas. Relevant, well-organised and sophisticated argument. High ratio of analysis to exposition. Maturity, clarity and cogency of expression. Excellent handling of quotation and references.
Good (60-69%): A candidate’s work will show many of the following qualities:
An advanced level of factual knowledge. Significant [substantial] knowledge of relevant theories and types of analysis. Some evidence of original thought. The ability to organise and argue effectively, make balanced judgements, and demonstrate critical thought. Fluent and accurate expression. Competent use of quotation and references.
On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
- to analyse and critique published criticism as well as examples of prose fiction by exploiting theoretical and cultural debate at an advanced level
- to deploy presentational skills sets at an advanced level
- to evaluate a wide range of theoretical, critical and fictional texts at an advanced level with originality
- to acquire, through sustained research at an advanced level, skills sets to construct systematic and informed argumentation
- to formulate coherent and evidenced responses at an advanced level
- to synthesise informed views on a given subject, demonstrating knowledge acquisition at an advanced level.
You are required to complete a 4,000-word essay. The title and research area should be tightly linked to the theoretical, critical and textual materials covered for this module and both the chosen title and research area must be agreed with the module coordinator prior to submission. (There can be no overlap of exploited critical and literary texts between assignments 1 and 2)
You are required to submit at the relevant Turnitin Portal a powerpoint presentation with recorded commentary. Instructions on how to do this will be available on the module Blackboard page. The maximum duration for this presentation is 15 minutes. The title and research of this presentation should be linked clearly with the theoretical, critical and textual interests of the module and both chosen title and research area must be agreed prior to submission with the module coordinator. (There can be no overlap of exploited critical and literary texts between assignments 1 and 2)
Teaching and Learning Strategy
This module will be conducted through 11 2-hour MA seminars, supplemented by individual advisory sessions offered by the module coordinator to students as required.
Students are expected to read widely and to prepare thoroughly set texts and their critical reading for seminar discussion.
All students will be offered one-to-one supervision by way of preparation for their assessed assignments
All students will have access to pre-recorded lectures relating to topics covered for this module and indicating possible presentational strategies to be adopted for their own research assignments.
11 hours of structured activities, such as critical reading groups, study groups, research seminars and colloquia.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
The ability to organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument in written and/or oral assignments and class discussions. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
Critical skills in the close reading, description, reasoning and analysis of primary and secondary sources (incl. filmic, literary and other sources). (Benchmark statement 5.13, 5.14, 5.15)
Competence in the planning and execution of essays, presentations and other written and project work; bibliographic skills, including the accurate citation of sources and consistent use of conventions and appropriate style in the presentation of scholarly work. (Benchmark statement 5.10, 5.14, 5.15)
The ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints and to place these in a wider socio-cultural and/or geo-historical and political and/or socio-linguistic context and to revise and re-evaluate judgements in light of those of the course leader, certain individuals or groups studied and/or fellow students. (Benchmark statement 5.13, 5.15 and 5.16)
The ability to write and think under pressure and meet deadlines. (Benchmark statement 5.15)
The ability to write effective notes and access and manage course materials including electronic resources / information provided on online learning platforms and library resources. (Benchmark statement 5.15, 5.16)
The ability to work creatively and flexibly both independently and/or as part of a team. (Benchmark statement 5.15).
The ability and willingness to engage with and appreciate other cultures and to articulate to others (in written and verbal form) the contribution that the culture has made at a regional and global level. (Benchmark statement 5.7)
The ability to comprehend, critically engage with and apply relevant theoretical concepts to materials being studied. (Benchmark statement 5.10)
The ability to engage in analytical, evaluative and original thinking. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
Critical understanding of key topics in the sphere of modern critical, cultural and translation theory, highlighting landmark figures and offering close readings of segments of their texts. (Benchmark statement 5.10)
The ability to organise and present ideas and arguments in presentations, classroom discussions and debates. (Benchmark statement 5.14, 5.16)
The ability to develop and manage an independent research project. (Benchmark statement 5.10, 5.15, 5.16)
Skills in the critical reading and analysis of literary and/or musical and/or filmic texts. (Benchmark statement 5.10)
The ability to comprehend and apply cultural idioms by studying primary and secondary materials in the target language. (Benchmark statement 5.3, 5.4)
The ability to develop and manage an independent research project. (Benchmark statement 5.3, 5.4, 5.10, 5.15, 5.16)
Resource implications for students
Students will be able to access critical and theoretical materials through the existing BU library resources. Students will be advised to obtain their own copies of the set fictional texts, although first editions of these will also be available digitally on the BU databases as well print copies already available in the collection.
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/qxe-4058.html
Paul Salzman (ed.), An Anthology of Elizabethan Prose Fiction (OUP) Paul Salzman (ed.), An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Fiction (OUP) Paul Salzman (ed.), Behn: Oroonoko and Other Writings (OUP) Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders (any edition) Daniel Defoe, Roxana (any edition) Alexander Petit (ed.), Eliza Haywood: Fantomina and Other Works (Broadview) Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews (Norton) Henry Fielding, Tom Jones (Norton) Tobias Smollett, Humphry Clinker (Norton) Samuel Richardson, Clarissa (Penguin) Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey (Penguin) Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy (Penguin) Ann Radcliffe, The Italian (OUP) Walter Scott, Waverley (OUP) Jane Austen, Persuasion (Penguin) Fanny Burney, Evelina (Penguin)
Courses including this module
Optional in courses:
- Q3AS: MA English Literature year 1 (MA/EL)