Literary Theory & Research
Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media
30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Maureen McCue
Overall aims and purpose
- to introduce students to key ideas in modern literary theory;
- to introduce students to the complexities of scholarly writing and documentation;
- to introduce students to a range of research methodologies, emphasizing the processes involved, and providing information about relevant resources in each area;
- to enable students to develop the research skills appropriate for postgraduate study;
- to encourage students to present complex material in a clear and precise manner
This module will introduce students to various literary theories and research methodologies. Topics may include: Scholarly Methodologies I: Creative & Critical Research Processes; Scholarly Methodologies II: Reading, Writing, Editing; Organising Your Text: Notation and Bibliography; The Reader Response Theory; Genre; Gender/Queer Theory; Freud & Psychoanalytic Criticism; Culture & Cultural Memory/Material Culture; Rhetoric; Literature, Post-Colonialism and Globalisation; Marxist Criticism; Writing and Race.
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.
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.
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.
Write lucidly in an academic register, to compose footnotes to reference the most common kinds of material referred to in literary-critical essay and to produce a Works Cited, using the MHRA system.
Demonstrate an understanding of some of the major trends in literary studies
Gain a good understanding of literary research methodologies;
Present sophisticated ideas orally and textually.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
11 x 2-hour weekly seminars.
- 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.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
- 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