Modules for course T124 | BA/LITCH
BA English Literature & Chinese

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 1 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • LZC-1003: Chinese for Beginners 1 (20) Core
  • QXE-1013: Reading, Thinking, Writing (20)
    The course will include analytical reading of drama, prose, poetry and film in English from the medieval period to the present era; an introduction to critical and theoretical approaches to the reading of literature; integration of close textual study and critical/theoretical approaches, as the foundation for all other modules in the School; practical development of skills of literary commentary, essay writing, and critical discussion.
  • LXC-1100: Intro. to Chinese Studies (20) Core

Semester 2

Optional Modules

40 credits from:

  • QXE-1003: Intro. to Medieval Literature (20) (Semester 2)
    Introduction to Medieval Literature offers students the opportunity to study a variety of Old English literature that is evocative of the intricate decoration on the Staffordshire Anglo-Saxon hoard; riddles, Old English battle poetry and The Dream of The Rood (taught in translation). In the second part of the module students will encounter Middle English drama, romance poetry and Chaucerian verse in its original language. The transition between the Old to the Middle English period will be analysed in terms of specific themes and motifs, such as the development from pagan Germanic heroism to Christian values. Chivalry, the comic and bawdy, and piety will be the main foci in the Middle English part of the course, explored through a range of poetry, prose, drama and life writing. This module is an ideal ‘taster’ for the medieval literature modules available at levels two and three.
  • QXE-1004: The Literature of Laughter (20) (Semester 1)
    The module is organised on a chronological basis, moving from Chaucer to Monty Python and beyond, taking in on the way a selection of texts by Shakespeare, Wycherley, Pope, Swift, Austen, Dickens, Twain, as well as Kate Atkinson’s Behind the Scenes at the Museum and an anthology of comic verse. The lectures place the texts in their historical and cultural contexts, while the seminars and study groups focus on the week’s specified text for close reading and discussion. Both the lectures and the smaller groups are consistently concerned with the module’s over-riding questions about the nature of literary laughter. Concepts such as wit and satire are analysed, along with some of the recurring topics of humorous writing: religion, politics, sex and gender. The major functions of laughter – for stereotyping, for self-defence, for reform, rebellion, or release of tension – are highlighted for both their continuity and their difference in specific literary and cultural contexts.
  • QXE-1014: The Gothic in Literature/Film (20) (Semester 2)
    This introductory course focuses mainly on Gothic writing from the late eighteenth century onwards, although it begins by looking at examples of the medieval and early-modern grotesque that help to set early Gothic novels in context. Organized in a loosely chronological way, this module is particularly sensitive to the ways in which Gothic texts have been used to represent contemporary cultural anxieties (such as the New Woman in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, or New Technology in the early years of the twenty-first), but it will also examine how the Gothic has been used to articulate political resistance, for example in anti-imperialist, post-colonial, and feminist works. It will also pay particular attention to the Gothic as a visual form, both analysing the representation of Gothic spaces in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature and art, and investigating the importance of the genre to the development of cinema, from silent-era German expressionism to the present. While the precise topics covered by the module will vary from year to year, themes will include some of the following: Terror and the Sublime; Monstrosity and Deviance; Doubles and Doppelgängers; Vampires and Sexualities; Parody and Pastiche; Domesticity and ‘The Uncanny’; Cybergothic and the Post-human; Feminist and Postcolonial Rewritings; Gothic and the Young Adult Novel. Students will situate texts within their historical and political contexts, and will also gain an awareness of a range of important theories (from Freud’s notion of the Uncanny to Derrida’s theories of hauntology) that will be important to the study of literature in the rest of their degree.
  • QXE-1015: Landmarks in Literature (20) (Semester 2)
    The specific texts studied will vary from year to year, but the module will include nineteenth-century works (e.g. Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle); English ‘classical’ stories of the early twentieth century (e.g. Agatha Christie); American ‘hard boiled’ versions (e.g. Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler), and modernist, postmodernist and other variants (e.g. Jorge Luis Borges, Sara Paretsky, Walter Mosley, Paul Auster). Film and television adaptations may also be included. The module will also situate the texts in relevant historical and cultural contexts, and explore them via key concepts in literary theory.
  • QXE-1016: Children's Fiction (20) (Semester 1)

Year 2 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

Semester 2

Optional Modules

60 credits from:

  • QXE-2003: Jonson to Johnson (20) (Semester 2)
  • 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.
  • 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 modules.