Modules for course Q300 | BA/E
BA English

These were the modules for this course in the 2017–18 academic year.

You can also view the modules offered in the years: 2018–19; 2019–20.

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Year 2 Modules

Optional Modules

120 credits from:

  • QXP-2001: C/Writing: Poetry & Short Fict (20) (Semester 1 + 2)
    This double-thin module is designed to help solve the problem that inexperienced writers have of writing in ways that are too abstract and general. You will be set exercises that sharpen dialogue and assist with the depiction of place in fiction, and exercises that demonstrate how images are most effectively evoked in poems. These ‘showing’ devices will then be placed in context by the use of models that indicate the importance of ‘telling’, that indicate how scenic devices in fiction are framed by direct authorial intervention, and how images in poems are linked to statements that further define and complicate them. Students are required to attend and review three evening poetry-readings to be given by leading poets during the course.
  • QXE-2003: Jonson to Johnson (20) (Semester 2)
  • QXP-2004: Creative Writing: The Novel (20) (Semester 1 + 2)
    Creative Writing: The Novel will guide you through the ways and means of writing a novel. You will be taught methods of composition and creation of novels, including practical and analytical consideration of novelistic structure and design, viewpoint, voice and role-play, and developing style and tone. It also includes, with reference to the practical application and consideration of these elements, consideration of the variety of forms relevant to the contemporary novel, comparing and contrasting novels, present and past, with other forms of creative writing.
  • QXE-2005: Victorian Literature (20) (Semester 2)
    The Victorians lived in an era of change and contradictions: a culture in which some reaped immense rewards from mechanised industry, but feared the idea of 'mechanism'; a period which saw the growth of cities and democracy, but was attracted to images of medieval feudalism. These themes will be examined, along with: realism in the Victorian novel; the narrators of the Victorian novel; ideas of truth in art and fiction; the figure of the intellectual or 'sage'; the domestic sphere; children and orphans; women as writers and members of Victorian society; the important relationship between notions of scientific 'truth' and religious 'faith', and ideas of nationality and race as expressed in the work of Irish, Scottish and Welsh authors working within concepts associated with the British empire. This course looks at a broad range of texts including novels, poetry and essays. Authors studied may include Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Bronte, John Ruskin, Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, Christina Rossetti, Robert Stevenson, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde.
  • QXP-2005: Transformative Writing (20) (Semester 1)
    Some of today's well known works of literature were produced by writers 'writing back' to and transforming certain source materials. Examples include Peter Carey's prize-winning tnrsformation of Dickens' 'Great Expectations' in 'Jack Maggs' (1997), and Gregory Maguire's transformation of Baum's 'Wizard of Oz' in 'Wicked: The Life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West' (1995). This module examines the ideas and chanllenges of transformative writing, how such writing differs from adaptation, and how professional writers have employed it in their works. Students will be introduced to the practice of responding through creative writing, and given the chance to select their own source material (of whatever kind) in order to experiment and 'write back' to it. Students will also have the opportunity to experience and reflect upon the nature of a negotiated writing project through the use of an initial writing contract (in weeks one and two)
  • QXP-2009: Creative Non-Fiction (20) (Semester 2)
  • QXE-2013: Renaissance and Reformation (20) (Semester 1)
    This course offers an introduction to the `Golden Age¿ of English literature, an exciting period of cultural change which encompasses the Reformation, the rise of a culture of individualism, and the English Revolution of the 1640s and 1650s. Among the modes of writing produced in these turbulent circumstances are poetic forms such as songs, sonnets, epigrams and pastoral epic; dramatic genres such as revenge tragedy and city comedy; and prose works such as autobiographical confessions, pamphlets and fiery sermons. Texts week 1. William Shakespeare, Henry V 2. Philip Sidney, Apology for poetry and all sonnets in Norton from Astrophil and Stella 3. Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta 4. Edmund Spenser, book 1 of The Faerie Queene (in Norton) 5. William Shakespeare, Othello 6. John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi (in Norton) 7. reading week 8. John Donne, Songs and Sonnets, the Elegies,and the Holy Sonnets (all those in the Norton) 9. George Herbert and Henry Vaughan (all poems in the Norton) 10. John Milton, Paradise Lost (books 1-4, in Norton) 11. John Dryden, The Conquest of Granada 12. Etheridge, The Man of Mode Editions ¿ no preference.
  • QXE-2019: Contemporary Writing (Lit) (20) (Semester 2)
    ‘Contemporary Literatures’ introduces students to the first postmodern texts in the 1950s, and takes them right up to literature from the present day. The course asks students to investigate how literature (across a range of genres) responds to the broad historical trends and specific events of the age. While these might include residual literary traditions from the 1950s such as the theatre of ‘angry young men’ and ‘Movement’ poetry, the module will initially focus on the emergence of postmodernity. It will go on to consider how the Anglophone literary field has became more international in the second half of the twentieth century, witnessing the emergence of national literary traditions in a range of former colonies. New and contemporary movements and traditions in Anglophone literature will be explored in the second part of the course. These might include British Asian literature, post 9/11 literature, recent American drama, eco-poetry and the effect on literature of recent digital innovation.
  • QXE-2020: The Romantic Period in Britain (20) (Semester 1)
    The Romantic Period (c. 1785 -1832) was marked by social change, political strife and a growth in print culture. In many ways it was the start of the modern age, as Britain sought to define itself both internally and within a global context. This course introduces students to both canonical and non-canonical texts of the period and the ways in which they both shaped and reflected wider social and cultural concerns. It will guide students through key areas of current scholarship of the period so that they may refine their understanding of the relationship between texts and their contexts. In order to question what the term ‘Romanticism’ may entail, this course focuses not only on certain authors and texts from this period but also what may be termed Romantic spaces, including the home, nation, metropolis (both London and Edinburgh will feature prominently), border spaces, natural or picturesque settings (including Tintern Abbey and nearby Snowdon), reading rooms, theatres, the boxing ring and galleries.
  • QXE-2024: Alfred Hitchcock (20) (Semester 2)
    Alfred Hitchcock is perhaps the most notable example of a director whose films were popular both with audiences and with critics seeking to establish the credibility of film as an art form. His work provides a case-study of theories of authorship; of different national cinemas and studio systems, and of a particular genre, the thriller. In addition, the popularity and accessibility of Hitchcock’s films also raise questions concerning narrative, spectatorial pleasure, the gaze, and gender, and consequently provide an opportunity to explore the interrelation and limits of film theory and film practice
  • QXE-2027: Literature and Modernity (20) (Semester 1)
    Literature and Modernity examines literature about, or by writers from, Britain and Ireland in a period bracketed by the emergence of proto-modernist writing in the late 1890s and the emergence in the early 1950s of texts that would later be seen as postmodern. This period in Western Europe witnessed unprecedented changes in the modes of production, in relations between the sexes and between the classes, and in the development of new cultural forms like radio and cinema. While these originated in the Victorian period, they were accelerated by the social and psychological impact of the First World War, global depression, the rise of fascism, another catastrophic World War and the start of the nuclear age, historical factors that make the study of literature from this period especially rewarding. Students will study some of the ways in which authors responded to these cataclysmic shifts by considering work from a range of critical perspectives. These may include the literary movement (for example, modernism), broad historical change (for example, changes in gender roles), a major historical event (for example, the Second World War), genre, or recent trends in criticism which encourage us to look at this period’s writing from a new angle.
  • QXE-2101: Beowulf to Malory (20) (Semester 1)
    Seminar list/lecture list Week 1 Historical and Cultural Overview of the Old English Period Week 2 Beowulf Week 3 The Old English Elegies Week 4 Christian Heroes Week 5 Chaucer: Canterbury Tales: General Prologue and the Franklin's Prologue and Tale Week 6 Chaucer: the Nun's Priest's Prologue and Tale Week 7: NO LECTURES OR SEMINAR Week 8 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Week 9 Malory, The Morte Darthur, I Week 10 Malory, The Morte Darthur, II Week 11 Henryson (photocopies to be provided) Week 12 NO LECTURES; revision seminar
  • Students must take (at least) 1 module dealing with Literature before 1800 and 1 from post-1800 module. Students may also take no more than one Creative Writing module, if prerequisites have been met. It is possible to choose 1(approved) elective module from outside the School.

Year 3 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • QXE-3099: The English Dissertation (40)
    This module involves the production of an extended piece of critical writing of a length and quality appropriate to the culmination of the undergraduate degree scheme. Drawing on knowledge and critical methodologies learned earlier in the degree, students will be assisted via lectures and individual supervisions in devising, refining, developing and presenting a substantial piece of critical work on a topic of their choosing. The series of introductory lectures and workshops will focus on how to develop the initial research idea into a workable project presented in appropriate scholarly form. Critical self-reflection will be developed via the proposal and oral presentation in the first semester, and via discussions with the supervisor, which are held at key stages in the development of the project in both semesters.

Semester 2

  • QXE-3099: The English Dissertation
    This module involves the production of an extended piece of critical writing of a length and quality appropriate to the culmination of the undergraduate degree scheme. Drawing on knowledge and critical methodologies learned earlier in the degree, students will be assisted via lectures and individual supervisions in devising, refining, developing and presenting a substantial piece of critical work on a topic of their choosing. The series of introductory lectures and workshops will focus on how to develop the initial research idea into a workable project presented in appropriate scholarly form. Critical self-reflection will be developed via the proposal and oral presentation in the first semester, and via discussions with the supervisor, which are held at key stages in the development of the project in both semesters.

Optional Modules

80 credits from:

  • QXE-3012: Detective Fiction (20) (Semester 1)
    This module covers nineteenth-century works by Poe, Collins and Conan Doyle; English ‘classical’ stories of the early twentieth century (Chesterton, Christie); American ‘hard boiled’ versions (Hammett, Chandler), and modernist and postmodernist variants (Borges, Auster). The module will situate the text in some historical and cultural contexts, and focus on the relationship between form and ideology in the genre.
  • QXE-3028: Literature in the Community (20) (Semester 1)
  • QXE-3031: Welsh Writing in English (20) (Semester 2)
    ‘Modern Welsh Writing in English’ will consider a range of texts, principally written in English, emerging from modern Wales. The module explores the development of a tradition of Anglophone Welsh writing from the late nineteenth century, across the twentieth century and up to the contemporary moment. In so doing seeks to investigate the varied ways in which Welsh writers – male and female, from North and South (and beyond), rural and industrial, and across a range of genres and forms – have articulated the Welsh experience in all its diversity. The module will also introduce students to some of the current critical and theoretical approaches being adopted in the study of Welsh writing.
  • QXE-3051: 19thC British Writers in Italy (20) (Semester 2)
    This course explores the dynamic place Italy – its literature, art, landscape and culture – held for nineteenth-century British writers. Through reading a variety of texts, including poetry, novels, travel writing/guides and art criticism, we will examine the ways in which writers commented on a number of identities, at individual, national and international levels. Students will be encouraged to draw on source material from a number of disciplines, in order to understand the complex dialectical relationships between cultures, particularly the intersection between literature and various visual and plastic arts. Of central importance will be the concepts of the ‘other’ and of ‘cultural capital’, both of which will be supported by current scholarship on post-Waterloo tourism to Italy and publishing practices in the long nineteenth century. Emphasis will be placed on Romantic authors, including Byron, the Shelleys and Jameson, though may also include their Victorian counterparts such as the Brownings and George Eliot.
  • QXE-3080: Chaucer: Comedy, Calamity and (20) (Semester 2)
    This module provides an opportunity to examine a range of works by Geoffrey Chaucer, one of the most interesting and important authors of late medieval English literature. Through an analysis of the Canterbury Tales alongside The House of Fame, The Book of the Duchess, Troilus and Criseyde, and selections from the Legend of Good Women, Chaucer’s literary accomplishments will be examined with the aim of understanding his place in the English canon. During the seminars there will by opportunity to explore the wide range of themes and motifs employed in Chaucer’s works, as well as his extraordinary versatility in tackling different literary genres. Students will also engage with a diversity of theoretical and critical approaches to Chaucer’s work and modern adaptations of his texts, reflecting this medieval author’s continued appeal in the modern world. This module is an ideal companion to any of the other level three medieval literature modules.
  • QXE-3086: Shakespeare's Afterlives (20) (Semester 2)
    In order to explore the concept of literary afterlives, the weekly seminars alternate between the study of a Shakespeare play and the investigation of instances of the ‘afterlife’ of that particular play. For example, a seminar on A Midsummer Night’s Dream is followed by a seminar on Angela Carter’s novel Wise Children, a text riddled with references to the play and its adaptations as well as to the ‘Shakespeare industry’ as a whole. The module encourages students to be alert to examples of the use and abuse of Shakespeare in our own contemporary contexts, and to respond creatively as well as critically to the plays and other texts under discussion. Participation in seminars is stimulated by a variety of means, including weekly presentations by pairs of students and a final colloquium on the essay projects being researched by members of the group.
  • QXE-3088: Bob Dylan (20) (Semester 2)
    SEMINARS Material to be studied in seminars will include: Critical distinctions between modernist, mass, and popular cultures; `Folk music¿ and Dylan's early career; Rock music and Dylan's transition to electric performance; The relationship between biography and critical analysis; Dylan and religion; Dylan and literature; Textual analysis of the song lyric; Dylan and the visual arts; The transition from analogue to digital reproduction and dissemination; Bootleg culture.
  • QXE-3094: Realms of Magic (20) (Semester 2)
    This module will cover the development of the romance genre from its earliest form in Marie de France’s and Chrétien de Troyes’ work through to insular productions such as Amis and Amiloun, Emaré, King of Tars, Isumbras, Sir Amadace, Bevis of Hampton, and Floris and Blancheflour. The range of texts will remain flexible, and their early modern versions will also form part of the discussion; the transformations and adaptations of these romances in medieval manuscripts and early modern prints will also be addressed. Topics as varied as spiritual instruction, courtly love, political governance, war, sexual fulfilment and magic will be investigated alongside incest, race, gender and ideology. The versatility of the genre will be explored in its development into other genres, in particular, but not exclusively, in early modern drama, and the endurance of its appeal will be judged with reference to the transformation of the genre in the early modern period. Connections will be established with Shakespeare’s plays and Spenser’s Faerie Queene. The module will end with analyses of adaptations of romance in the modern period (novel, film productions).
  • QXE-3096: Medieval Women's Literature (20) (Semester 1)
    What texts were medieval women writing and reading? This module examines women’s textual culture in an historical period in which many male-authored works encouraged women to be ‘chaste, silent and obedient,’ in spite of an assumption that women were naturally inclined towards lust and gossip. The module explores texts from the range of literature written and read by women, and the ways in which female-produced works (those written, translated, read, commissioned, performed and discussed in medieval England) were in dialogue with the constructions of medieval womanhood current during this period. The texts studied in seminar offer opportunity to hear, amongst others, the intimate thoughts and words of Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, the Paston wives and Marie de France, on topics as broad as love, marriage, sex, death and religion, as recorded in travel narratives, letters, devotions, lyrics and other literature – all of which contributed to the rich textual culture of the Middle Ages. This module is an ideal companion to any of the other level three medieval literature modules.
  • QXE-3107: EM Lit: Sex, Sects and Scandal (20) (Semester 1)
    Beginning with English constructions of nationhood in the 1590s, this module will examine the pressures that are placed upon Tudor notions of English identity by the ways in which early modern texts engage with Britishness. From here, the module will move to explore seventeenth century Anglophone literature in Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Authors to be studied might include Edmund Spenser, Thomas Nashe, Thomas Deloney, Thomas Heywood, William Shakespeare, Katherine Philips, Henry Vaughn, William Drummond and Roger Boyle.
  • QXE-3109: Victorian Networks (20) (Semester 1)