Module QXE-2019:
Contemporary Writing (Lit)

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics.

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Andrew Webb

Overall aims and purpose

• Study of a broad range of literature published from the 1950s to the present • Situate this literature within broader historical, social, cultural and political contexts • Establish and explore areas of contrast and continuity between the texts on the module

Course content

‘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.

Assessment Criteria

good

Typically, work graded B- to B+ (or 60 to 69) will show many of the following qualities: • Discusses ideas adeptly • Most of the arguments about a specific field are well-aired • Displays knowledge of the subject in question; the answer is relevant • Shows analytical and clear thought • Gives evidence of relevant reading • Shows accuracy in expression with mastery over language. • A few minor errors here and there. • Signs of creative thought deserve a higher position within the class • In creative work: shows signs of originality, having understood the requirements of the medium • Plans of well-balanced and full answers, despite some gaps

Typically, work graded C- to C+ (or 50 to 59) will show many of the following qualities: • Discusses ideas, but without much confidence • A respectable effort but not showing any unusual talent; a few flashes of originality here and there • Makes reference to the subject in question, but some important matters not mentioned • Fairly clear thought on most occasions, and the arguments relevant on the whole • Evidence of having read some works associated with the field in question • Quite accurate expression, though the points may sometimes be presented clumsily • Signs of conscientious work deserve a higher position within the class • In creative work: not having quite mastered the requirements of the medium
• Evidence of planning in the answers, but a lack of coherence at times; undisciplined and unsure at times

threshold

• Unsure and lacking in confidence when discussing ideas • Referring to the subject in question in a superficial manner • Making an effort to provide fairly balanced answers • Some points in the argument irrelevant to the topic • Little evidence of background reading • Some uncertainty over language and syntax • Strengths and weaknesses fairly balanced; occasionally clumsy and unimaginative • In creative work: superficial • Not succeeding in mastering the requirements of the medium

excellent

Typically, work graded A- to A** (or 70 to 100) will show many of the following qualities:

• Discusses ideas with confidence and precision • Demonstrates maturity and sophistication • Displays deep knowledge of the subject in question; the answer is totally relevant • Shows independent, analytical and clear thought • Gives evidence of substantial and relevant reading • Shows great accuracy in expression, displaying total mastery over all aspects of the language • Shows occasional signs of brilliance and originality of thought • In creative work: displays considerable originality • Command over medium; may have potential for publication/production

Learning outcomes

  1. Critically appreciate, analyse and interpret a range of literary texts in relation to postmodernity, contemporary and emerging movements and traditions

  2. Examine patterns and variations in the literary response to the historical trends and events of the period 1953- present

  3. Examine contemporary texts from the perspective of a particular critical concern or emerging trend (for example, Cold War literature, postcolonialism, 9/11 literature

  4. construct a meaningful cultural and historical understanding of the period

  5. Select, digest and organise material and produce a consistent and coherent argument, presented in essay form, to a deadline.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY One 2,000 word essay 50
CLASS TEST Pre-released Exam 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
 
  1. 1x1 hour lecture per week
  2. 1x1 hour workshop per week
  3. 1x1 hour seminar per week
  4. 1x1 hour guided study group per week
44
Private study 156

Transferable skills

  • 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
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: