Module QXE-4044:
Welsh Literature in English

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Andrew Webb

Overall aims and purpose

‘Welsh Literature in English’ examines the work of English-language Welsh writers, a tradition which has emerged since the beginning of the twentieth century. This body of English-language work is foreign to its English Literature equivalent, and distinct too from the other principal literary tradition of Wales, written in the Welsh language. This module begins from the premise, asserted by Raymond Williams, that the culture of modern-day Wales is the product of responses to colonisation, linguistic dislocation and uneven development. The module considers the often-divisive literary registration of these historical phenomena. After an introductory session on the historical and literary historical context, students will study major texts from the tradition from a range of critical perspectives. The aim will be to build on recent literary and critical successes in overcoming the cultural and linguistic divide in Wales in order to investigate what is singular and paradigmatic about the Welsh experience as a whole.

Authors studied will include some of the following: Amy Dillwyn, Arthur Machen , Caradoc Evans, Edward Thomas, Lewis Jones, Jack Jones, Gwyn Jones, Gwyn Thomas, Idris Davies, Glyn Jones, Ron Berry, Alun Richards, Menna Gallie, Raymond Williams, Chris Meredith, Dylan Thomas, David Jones, Lynette Roberts, Brenda Chamberlain, R. S. Thomas, Emyr Humphreys, Rhys Davies, Margiad Evans, John Sam Jones, Peter Finch, Gwyneth Lewis, Menna Elfyn.

Course content

The module will cover a range of canonical Anglophone Welsh texts. Topics to be covered may include: canonicity; the grounds on which a distinctive Anglophone Welsh literary tradition has been established and contested; the relation of literary texts to Welsh history; the ways in which literature constructs and interrogates Welsh national identity; internal differences across Wales; Celticism; modernism; the relation between cultural and political (in)dependence; what texts from the tradition of Welsh Writing in English have in common with literature from other traditions; Welsh literature and postcolonialism; Welsh literature and gender; the relation between Anglophone Welsh and Welsh literary tradition.

Core Critical Texts

Primary texts will vary from year to year but will include those by some of the following authors: Amy Dillwyn, Arthur Machen , Caradoc Evans, Edward Thomas, Lewis Jones, Jack Jones, Gwyn Jones, Gwyn Thomas, Idris Davies, Glyn Jones, Ron Berry, Alun Richards, Menna Gallie, Raymond Williams, Chris Meredith, Dylan Thomas, David Jones, Lynette Roberts, Brenda Chamberlain, R. S. Thomas, Emyr Humphreys, Rhys Davies, Margiad Evans, John Sam Jones, Peter Finch, Gwyneth Lewis, Menna Elfyn.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

50-59% A Pass (C) 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.

good

60-69% A candidate’s work reaching Merit 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.

excellent

70% and above Typically, the work of a candidate reaching Distinction 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.

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand some of the ways in which Anglophone Welsh literature has both corresponded with its Welsh language counterpart and established its distinctiveness from English Literature

  2. Understand the way texts express and interrogate Welsh national identity

  3. Understand Welsh literature in relation to ideas of modernity, class, gender and experimentation

  4. Deepen knowledge of the canon of Welsh Literature in English

  5. Understand how historical rupture and cultural tension led to establishment of Anglophone Welsh literature over the twentieth century

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
essay 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 278
Seminar 22

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • 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
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Courses including this module