BA American and English Literature

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American Studies at the University of East Anglia is recognised as one of the best departments in the UK. We offer our undergraduate students a broad range of courses and modules, allowing you to tailor your learning as you progress through your time with us. Most of our degrees also involve a year studying abroad. Throughout their course, our students develop skills that are highly attractive to employers.

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Come and join UEA's English Literature students as they discuss 'what makes literature live?', with a little help from T.S. Eliot and others...

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Understanding America in the 21st century is more essential than ever. At UEA we have one of the largest concentrations of American studies scholars in the country, covering the entirety of the field. Join us and discover new perspectives on some of the classic questions in this subject.

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Key facts

(Guardian University Guide 2019)

"MANY EMPLOYERS HAVE EXPRESSED INTEREST IN MY YEAR ABROAD AT INTERVIEW, AND I NOW FEEL MORE INDEPENDENT, EXPERIENCED AND READY FOR ANYTHING"

In their words

Kirsten Irving, American Studies Graduate who spent her year abroad at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Achieve a deep understanding of two of the world’s greatest literary traditions by studying them side by side.

On this course, which includes a year studying abroad, you’ll explore the development and growth of American literature, learning what makes it distinctive and how it has helped define the nation. At the same time, you’ll explore the rich heritage of English literature with the world-leading School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. You’ll study the wealth of literature in English, reaching back to Chaucer, Julian of Norwich and beyond, and forwards to the likes of Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan and Ali Smith. All of those experiences will enrich your final year, during which you will take a series of advanced classes and write a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Overview

You’ll study literature from a global perspective, exploring a wide range of genres — novels, poetry, film, and even comic books — and gain a detailed knowledge of the American and English literary traditions.

You’ll get to grips with issues relating to race, gender and civil liberties in America. You’ll study how authors have simultaneously documented the ‘American experience’ while offering critiques of American power. In doing so, you’ll gain an understanding of the major cultural and historical ideas that have shaped American literature from the pre-colonial era to the present day. You will develop an understanding of the Transatlantic relationship, and the way that American and English literature have developed in close conversation with each other over the last few centuries.

You’ll be studying in a UNESCO City of Literature with a vibrant contemporary writing scene and have the opportunity to spend your third year studying in America or Canada with an option to spend a semester in Australia, New Zealand, or Hong Kong.

Course Structure

Year 1

You’ll establish a comprehensive historical and literary overview of the United States.

Modules will ask you to analyse a series of American icons - including the Stars and Stripes, the cowboy and the prison – as a way into thinking through important issues that have shaped the American national consciousness. Lectures and seminars will also cover the often fiercely contested development of a national literature in the United States, tracing the way in which a multitude of voices – such as Mark Twain, Nella Larsen, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and William Faulkner – have interpreted the nation. You will also examine the relationship between literary literature and history. 

During all your first year modules you’ll also develop the key academic and practical skills needed to study at university level.

Year 2

In your second year of study, you will take one compulsory module in the Autumn semester – Exceptional States: U.S. Intellectual and Cultural History. This interdisciplinary module allows you to delve more deeply into the foundational ideas that have animated and shaped the construction of the American nation.

At this stage of your degree, you will also start the process of academic specialisation, choosing from a broad range of optional modules run by the department of American Studies and the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. This will allow you to tailor your learning to your own interests, all the while honing your skills of academic enquiry and argumentation.

Year 3

You’ll spend the third year of your degree abroad, gaining an invaluable academic and cultural experience, one that most students consider to be the highlight of their time at university.

For further details, visit our Study Abroad section of our website.

Year 4

In your fourth year you’ll continue the process of academic specialisation. You will be able to choose three 30 credit modules that speak directly to the research specialisms of academic staff within the department of American Studies and the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. In the second semester of your final year – guided by an academic supervisor – you’ll also complete a dissertation on a literary topic of your choice.

Teaching and Learning

You’ll be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. We pride ourselves on our small group seminar teaching, which allows a greater level of discussion between academic staff and students. In seminars, you’ll learn how to listen to and critique the ideas of others, as well as how to present and defend your own arguments effectively.

You’ll acquire vital skills needed for independent learning throughout your course and have access to dedicated sessions designed to help you make the most of UEA’s state of the art library facilities. Through these sessions and your academic modules, you’ll gain crucial research skills of uncovering resources and critically assessing sources. As you progress through your degree you’ll develop as a self-motivated researcher and independent, creative thinker.

In addition to timetabled lecture and seminar slots, each member of staff at UEA holds dedicated office hours where students can come and seek additional advice and guidance on a one-to-one basis. You’ll also be assigned an adviser who can support you through your studies by providing academic and career guidance.

During your time at UEA, you’ll be taught by academics working at the forefront of their fields. Our academics have been published widely on key issues that have shaped the development of American and English literature.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed at the end of each semester through a mixture of coursework, portfolio work and examination. In your final year, you’ll write a dissertation on a topic of your choice with the support of your tutors. Your final degree result is determined by the marks you receive in your second and fourth years.

For every piece of assessment that you submit you’ll receive written and verbal feedback from tutors. These comments and reflections will help you identify the methods and strategies that will improve your work and help you get the most out of your studies.

Optional Study abroad or Placement Year

You’ll have the opportunity to spend your third year studying abroad. Our Year Abroad programme has been running for more than 30 years and is one of the largest in the UK for American Studies. We have a wide range of partner universities and colleges across the US and Canada - from New England to California, Alaska to Louisiana, Vancouver to Ottawa. We also have a great number of partner institutions in Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand where you can experience American Studies from a Pacific Rim point of view.

Your time abroad will be an invaluable academic and cultural experience, one that most students consider to be the highlight of their time at university. 

For further details, visit our Study Abroad section of our website.

After the course

As an American and English Literature graduate, you’ll be well placed to enter a wide-range of professions. Working across disciplines, studying abroad, and undertaking in-depth research will give you key skills that are highly regarded by employers. You’ll also graduate as an expert researcher and communicator, skilled in analysing data, and good at working in a team.

Career destinations

Examples of careers you could enter include:

  • Publishing
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Financial services
  • Civil service
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Cultural industries
  • Teaching/lecturing
  • Public relations
  • Researcher

Course related costs

You are eligible for reduced fees during the year abroad. Further details are available on our Tuition Fee website.

There will be extra costs related to items such as your travel and accommodation during your year abroad, which will vary depending on location.

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.

Course Modules 2019/0

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

AMERICA LITERATURE II: MAKING IT 'NEW'

On this module you will learn the central currents of American Literature, from after the American Civil War, through the turn of the century and into modernism and the early 20th century, finishing at the close of World War II. You will follow the - often fiercely contested - development of a national literature, tracing the way this multitude of voices differs from place to place, from decade to decade, and from writer to writer. Writers studied on this module in past years have included: Henry James, Mark Twain, Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes, Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, T.S. Eliot and William Faulkner. You will be introduced to these vibrant voices through reading and discussing short stories, novels, poetry, non-fiction and critical work. You will attend lectures, and take part in follow-up discussion-based seminars. Each week you will consider the context of the texts you read, as well as working to analyse and explain how they work on the reader and in society at large. You will encounter debates about the meaning of freedom in life and in art, what it might mean to be modern (or to refuse that modernity), about the responsibilities of citizenship to other people and to the environment, and about what it might mean to write and be read in the modern United States of America. By the end of this module you will be familiar with a wide range of late 19th century and early 20th century American texts and writers. You will learn the major movements in American literature from the fin de siecle through to the Second World War, and will be able to talk about the issues surrounding the development of a national and literary culture. Through doing this, you will improve your ability to read and analyse literary texts, to describe how language works in history and on the reader, and to identify and present new and exciting patterns in what you read.

AMAL4031B

20

AMERICAN LITERATURE I: IMAGINING AMERICA

How did American literature become American? How did literature help to shape the idea of America? This module will provide you with some answers to those questions with a thorough introduction to early American Literature. From the earliest moments of European colonization of the New World through to the bloody Civil War that Americans fought over slavery in the middle of the 19th century, you will explore the ways that a diverse group of writers helped shaped a literary culture that was distinctively American. You will encounter a rich variety of American writers and texts - travellers, novelists, poets, biographers, philosophers - and think about the role that literature played in the creation of a new nation. From puritans to politicians, from revolutionaries to romantics, from slavery to emancipation, you will explore the work of the men and women who shaped our ideas of what American Literature was, is, and might be. Each week, through lectures and seminar discussion, you will also consider the other forces that shaped these texts, and develop your ability to analyse a range of literary styles. As America was colonised, achieved independence, expanded westwards and fought a Civil War, how did American writers respond to the extraordinary tensions running through a newly born nation?

AMAL4033A

20

AMERICAN STUDIES I: READING CULTURES I

How can we understand American culture? What role has America played in shaping our day-to-day lives? How can we study the United States? By analysing a series of American icons - including as flag, the cowboy and the prison - you will develop a broad understanding of U.S. culture, as well as the values that have underpinned the construction of the American national identity. On completion of this module, you will have the skills required to research, write and edit at university level. You will be able to think critically about the United States and understand the relationship between culture and politics.

AMAS4036A

20

AMERICAN STUDIES II: IDEAS AND IDEOLOGIES

How has American culture been shaped by categories of race, gender, class and sexuality? How can we unpick and understand the complex experiences that shape American identity? This module will enable you to develop and expand the research methods, writing skills, and oral skills you'll have acquired in 'Reading Cultures I: American Icons'. You'll continue your exploration of the contemporary United States, you'll be introduced to the work of critical theorists, and you'll be encouraged to think about America's changing position in the world. Classes will further facilitate skills in reading, writing, analysis and independent thinking, through which you will gain the confidence and the tools necessary to be a self-supporting learner, giving you a strong academic foundation for the rest of your degree programme.

AMAS4037B

20

LITERATURE IN HISTORY 1

This is the main introductory module to the study of literature. It aims to help new students to read historically, by offering a range of models of the relationship between literature and history, explored through the study of selected historical and literary moments. The module is taught by a weekly lecture, with an accompanying seminar.

LDCL4008A

20

LITERATURE IN HISTORY II

'Realism' is a key term in understanding the relationship between literary texts and historical reality. The term originated in the nineteenth century, the high period of a certain kind of realist novel that Colin MacCabe called the 'classic realist text'. Yet this 19th century novel is only one influential form of realism among many. You'll investigate the varieties of realism by exploring the multifarious and innovative ways in which writers have exploited a variety of literary forms with the aim of producing the impression of a faithful representation of historical reality. Realist impulses have often pulled writers in different directions, suggesting a plurality of different formal strategies. You'll learn to identify the different rhetorical and formal devices that writers across the centuries and in different cultural contexts have used to create realist effects.

LDCL4019B

20

Students must study the following modules for 20 credits:

Name Code Credits

EXCEPTIONAL STATES: US Intellectual and Cultural History

Exceptional States is designed to allow you to grapple with some of the distinctive, some have said exceptional, ways in which Americans have viewed the world, interpreted their own society, their own past, their own literary and artistic traditions#that is, their own culture. We aim to give you a key to understanding 'the American mind', or to put it another way, American ways of thinking. It is in a sense our intention to enable you to approach your subject#whether that be your own particular topic, your own discipline, or the field as a whole#with an ability to interpret it, understand its 'Americanness', and so understand the subtle nuances often lost on outsiders. We will, in short, give you a deeper insight into America, and also into the study of America. To that extent, your intellectual journey will be taken onward another stage. You will begin to see new meanings in past events, literary texts, images, films, and so on. You will be able to reach a deeper understanding of the complexities of the United States of America.

AMAS5028A

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

ADAPTATION: SHAKESPEARE ON STAGE AND SCREEN

This module explores the rich dramatic and cinematic traditions of Shakespearean adaptation. It considers a range of adaptations, from the seventeenth-century versions of Macbeth, King Lear and Henry V to more recent film versions of Shakespeare's plays, examining the light that adaptive transformations may cast on both the original plays and on the different social and cultural circumstances of the new productions. The module focuses in particular upon cinematic adaptations of Richard III, Henry V, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and King Lear, though will also discuss many other examples from stage and screen. In seminars linked to weekly screenings this module offers an introduction to the theory and practice of adaptation as well as an outline view of how to read Shakespeare on film.

LDCL5021A

20

CRITICAL THEORY AND PRACTICE

What is literature? What makes it what it is? How should we go about reading it and what should we be reading for? How has 'English literature' emerged as an academic discipline? And how can we justify the study of that discipline today? These are some of the questions you'll explore, as, across the course of this module, you examine the theory and practice of literary criticism from the late-nineteenth century to the present. In doing this you'll not only engage with the rich, complex and provocative work of literary critics and theorists - including deconstructive, feminist, post-colonial and queer theorists - but also of some of the thinkers and writers who have influenced them: such as Marx, Freud and Saussure. You will therefore encounter some of the most important and exciting thinkers of the modern period, acquiring an understanding of developments in linguistics, economics, psychoanalysis and philosophy, and tracing the ways in which these overlap with, and inform, literary study. This is a module you will find helpful throughout your degree.

LDCL5031A

20

EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY WRITING

The eighteenth century was a time of great literary experimentation in which many new genres emerged, including the periodical essay, the mock-epic, the ballad opera, and the novel. These genres took shape within a commercial revolution that transformed both what it meant to be an author and what it meant to be a reader. In this module you will see how writers such as Joseph Addison, Alexander Pope and John Gay created works that both participated in and criticized the culture of commerce. You will explore the fictions created by writers such as Henry Fielding and Samuel Richardson, who developed very different versions of the novel in competition and conversation with one another. You will also examine how writers such as Samuel Johnson, Frances Burney, and Olaudah Equiano navigated the new possibilities for authorship that were opening up in the period. Ultimately you are invited to become an "eighteenth-centuryist" and to make imaginative connections between the exciting range of genres that emerged in this century and the culture that produced them. THIS MODULE FULFILS THE PRE-1789 REQUIREMENT.

LDCL5041A

20

EMPIRE AND AFTER: GLOBALIZING ENGLISH

Today, literature in English is produced in many countries across the world and English increasingly enjoys a status as a 'global' language. In this module you will explore how this situation came about by placing the development of English literary traditions both in the British Isles and elsewhere into the long historical context of the rise and fall of the British Empire. Beginning with canonical works by British writers from the eighteenth century through the nineteenth and into the twentieth centuries, you will then consider literary and political responses to the experience of empire and colonization by writers from areas such as South Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Australasia, and the Americas. You will explore how 'English Literature' has been shaped on a global scale by global historical forces, and how different the history of the English literary tradition looks when placed alongside and in counterpoint to these 'other' writings in English. You will then discuss the writings of authors such as Daniel Defoe, Joseph Conrad, Chinua Achebe, Jean Rhys, Amitav Ghosh, Kate Grenville and J.M Coetzee amongst others. The module will introduce you to the theoretical and conceptual apparatus of postcolonial literary studies and to some of the key frameworks for understanding the formation of the modern world, such as race and racism, nations and nationalism, colonial discourse and postcolonial theory, and how gender and sexuality were pivotal in the formation of colonial and post-colonial identities.

LDCL5079A

20

FAKES, FRAUDS AND HOAXES

Would you present your own poetry as if it were the translation of an ancient manuscript, or the writings of a medieval monk? Would you write a memoir documenting your addictions which mostly consisted of made-up people and events? What about writing an autobiography of your life as a former teenage prostitute (never having been a prostitute)? These crimes - and more - were perpetrated in the past: in 1760 James Macpherson 'translated' a text by the third century poet Ossian, the original of which never existed; later in the same decade Thomas Chatterton claimed to have 'discovered' the writings of the fifteenth-century monk, Thomas Rowley, but actually wrote the poems himself. More recently, too, with James Frey's A Million Little Pieces, and JT LeRoy's Sarah, we witness similar attempts to con or defraud unsuspecting readers. In this module, you will concentrate on four questions: the difference between the fake and the real; the skills a faker needs to produce an inauthentic version of the real thing; the ways a fake might reflect on the value of the original; and the process of discovering and detecting fakery. You will examine a series of test cases, from a range of historical periods, which will sharpen your sense of literary property, literary propriety, and literary ethics, and also provide you with a sense of the debates that shape and inform literature as a discipline and an institution. Assessment will include the opportunity to produce your own fake!

LDCL5083A

20

FROM PUSHKIN TO CHEKHOV: NINETEENTH-CENTURY RUSSIAN FICTION

'Russia is old; her literature is new. Russian history goes back to the ninth century; Russian literature, so far as it interests the world, begins in the nineteenth#. Russian literature is the voice of a giant, waking from a long sleep, and becoming articulate. # And what he has said has been well worth the thousand years of waiting.' What has nineteenth century Russian literature said that the world has waited so long to hear? This is a question you will begin to answer as you read some of the age's great authors, such as Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekhov. You'll gain insight into what makes this writing distinctive and an awareness of the political, social and cultural conditions that created it. You'll discover why it was so important to other European writers and learn about the intriguing literary relationship between Russia and the West. You'll start by familiarising yourself with some of the historical background, concentrating on the 'westernisation' of Russia, a process begun by Peter the Great and made visible in the construction of the city of St Petersburg. At the beginning of the module you'll be given some key themes and questions to think about; these will help you to focus your reading during the coming weeks. You'll learn through seminars and independent study and research. You'll be assessed on one essay, which can be developed from a class presentation. By the end of the module you'll have read some of the great nineteenth century Russian writers and gained an understanding of the political, historical and social background of their work. You'll have discovered why these novels had such a profound impact in Western Europe and how they were instrumental in the development of the Modernist movement in Britain. You'll have gained a wider literary perspective and reading in translation will have made you think in new ways about your own language too.

LDCL5048A

20

I AM

How do our literary choices inform our sense of self? What do our critical and theoretical interests say about our values and concerns? How do we make connections between our academic studies and the outside world? 'I Am' explores ideas concerned with the self, being, consciousness, and identity through engaging with a range of texts, from literature and literary criticism through to personal essays and online blogs. The aim is to help you, through the practice of reading and writing, reflect on your own values and intentions and to discover a language in which to articulate, with greater confidence, who you are. You should commit to participating in a process of uncovering your reality. This process will include classroom discussion, peer review, learning new approaches to writing and engaging in exploratory practical exercises. You'll also be expected to keep a journal in order to reflect on connections between your reading and yourself. 'I Am' is grounded in a commitment to help you consider your future beyond university. An increased level of self-awareness will undoubtedly support you as you approach the task of making decisions about jobs and careers in the future.

LDCL5054A

20

LITERATURE AND PHILOSOPHY

This module will offer a series of different approaches to the question of how Literature and Philosophy can speak to each other as academic disciplines, demonstrating the breadth and diversity of the two fields, as well as acquainting students with the research in literary criticism and philosophy currently being pursued at UEA. As well as examining the ways in which literature can illuminate and trouble philosophical argument, it will explore literature and 'the literary' as a topic for philosophical analysis, and the kinds of thinking such a topic would demand. Setting literature and philosophy into dialogue in this way will engender a more capacious understanding of the particular philosophical issues, and literary techniques, under discussion. The course will allow students to develop an awareness of the limits and advantages of various modes of literary and philosophical expression, and to foster more sophisticated skills in both literary and philosophical criticism. The module will be made up of a lecture circus, with two weeks given to each lecturer on a particular topic related to their current research (there will be five in all, including a lecture from the module convener, plus two from PHI and two from LDC). The seminars will discuss issues arising from these lectures, working with texts set by the lecturer. This module is compulsory for English Literature with Philosophy students, but is also open for other students in the English Literature and Philosophy degree courses.

LDCL5072A

20

MEDIEVAL WRITING

This module provides an introduction to the study of medieval literature. You will explore Chaucer's poetry (through works such as 'The Clerk's Tale', 'The Merchant's Tale', 'The Nun's Priest's Tale'), the wonderful Morall Fabillis of Robert Henryson, the work of Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, and a number of important Middle English Romances, including the superb 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'. You will work in three inter-related ways: by exploring a range of important medieval literary genres (the lyric, allegorical narrative, romance, 'mystical writing', 'life writing', moral fable, dream vision); by considering important aspects of the medieval world (social, political, religious) and their textual representation; and by addressing the material circumstances in and by which medieval texts were written and read, published and circulated (in manuscripts and in the very earliest printed books). The aim, then, is really two-fold: to introduce you to the remarkable riches of medieval literature (one of the pay-offs of the relative linguistic difficulty of Middle English is that it forces us to attend slowly and carefully to the textual details of our material in a way I suspect we don't always find ourselves able to and in a way that the texts we will be reading wonderfully reward), and, at the same time, to allow you to try your hand as medievalists, exploring the distinctive possibilities and practices that come with working with this material. THIS MODULE FULFILS THE PRE-1789 REQUIREMENT.

LDCL5063A

20

MODERNISM

The modernist movement transformed literature and the arts worldwide in the early part of the 20th century, peaking in the period between 1918 and 1939. Although the term modernism was rarely used by authors in this period, in the period after World War II it became the usual term to describe a group of writers, responding to one another, whose work is characterised by radical experiments with language and form, which aimed to do justice to a range of many subjects such as the mysteries of consciousness and the unconscious, gender, sexuality, and desire, violence and democracy, the primitive and the mechanical. We will be reading a range of authors, including such long-canonised figures as James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, HD, Gertrude Stein, and Virginia Woolf, but expanding the modernist canon in the light of recent scholarship to other more recently revived authors such as Djuna Barnes, Mina Loy, Dorothy Richardson, and Jean Rhys. We will trace some of the origins of modernism in earlier literary movements such as Symbolism, Imagism, Aestheticism, and Impressionism, and explore its kinship with foreign literary movements such as Dada and Surrealism. Modernism invented modern methods of criticism and we will be placing a particular emphasis on the close reading of poetry and poetic prose. A study of modernism is essential for understanding all 20th century literature and this module is highly recommended for any students wishing to take any modules in 20th-century literature.

LDCL5045A

20

SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY WRITING: RENAISSANCE AND REVOLUTION

This module introduces you to the poetry, drama and prose of one of Britain's most exciting and turbulent periods of cultural, political and intellectual transformation: the 17th century. The module works through lectures, which establish larger questions we might ask of the week's material, and seminars, in which we close read passages of texts together intensively. We begin in the early 17th century by exploring the ways English writing was transformed by its encounters with classical texts, before turning to explore women writers' complicated relationship to early-modern literary culture. In the module's second half, we ask how literary forms were transformed by the extraordinary upheavals of the English civil war and the execution of the monarch. Throughout, we learn how knowledge of the circumstances of texts' publication and readership can help us to interpret literature. Authors we study include famous figures such as Ben Jonson, Andrew Marvell, and John Milton (including a look at his masterpiece, Paradise Lost), as well as many lesser-known writers, including women such as Lucy Hutchinson and Hester Pulter. You will have the chance to read translations of several of the classical authors (such as Horace and Martial) who influenced the writers of the 17th century. The module also gives you the chance to sign up for an (entirely optional) visit to the Norfolk Heritage Centre (in the centre of Norwich) to see their remarkable collection of 17th-century books. THIS MODULE FULFILS THE PRE-1789 REQUIREMENT.

LDCL5042A

20

THE SHORT STORY (AUT)

What is a short story? What do short story writers have to say? What about short story critics and theorists? Is the short story a narrative in miniature? Or is there more to a short story than simply being 'short'? And why are critics so concerned with whether the short story is alive or dead? These are the kind of questions this module will investigate by asking you to think as a short story reader, theorist, critic and writer. Reading will be drawn from short story writers - and writing about the short story - roughly spanning the 19th century to the present, and from a range of cultural contexts. Our interest will not be to establish a history of the short story, but instead to explore the range of thematic preoccupations, changing definitions, and critical debates surrounding the form. You will have the opportunity to respond to these questions in critical and/or creative forms of assessment. Writers studied might include Edgar Allan Poe, Katherine Mansfield, Julio Cortazar, Anton Chekov, Ali Smith and Ryunosuke Aqutagawa. This list is suggestive only.

LDCL5074A

20

THE WRITING OF HISTORY

What makes a good history essay? What makes a good literary critical essay? How are they different? How do the disciplines of History and English Literature approach argument and evidence, narration and description? What are the generic, formal and stylistic expectations that govern academic writing in each of these disciplines? Some version of these questions will have occurred to any student attempting to meet the assessment criteria in a university degree. They are perhaps particularly pressing for students studying both literature and history, where somewhat different approaches are required by each discipline. This module brings historians, literary critics and creative writers into a multi-disciplinary conversation designed to explore the tensions as well as the continuities between history and literary studies. By asking faculty members from the two schools to investigate similar territory from contrasting perspectives, you will explore how very similar subjects and sources can be treated differently by different disciplines (and by different methodological orientations within those disciplines). Historians, literary critics and creative writers will give guest lectures that describe and analyse their research process and writing practice. There will also be some more theoretically driven weeks where the work of key philosophers and theorists of history and literature will be read and discussed. You are encouraged to reflect on your own approach to the writing of history and literary criticism and will have the opportunity to learn reflexive writing. The summative assessment asks you to analyse a source text using the resources of both disciplines, and then to write a reflexive essay positioning your own approach in relation to other historians and critics studied on the module.

LDCL5077A

20

THE WRITING OF JOURNALISM (AUT)

What kinds of writing skills produce great journalism? This question is essential to creating powerful journalism and it's a central concern of this module. The Writing of Journalism enables you to develop a critical awareness of the skills and structures involved in creating effective journalism. You'll consider a range of journalistic forms and find out how best to nurture and develop your own writing. You'll have the opportunity to explore the ways in which journalistic writing works - its contexts, its demands, and its inventiveness. This will enable us to approach journalism as a discourse with its own conventions, practices, and ideologies. This module is concerned with journalism as a practice, and a genre. As such, it involves discussion, peer-workshops, and practical experience of reading and writing news and feature articles. In addition to writing your own journalism, you will examine journalistic writing and critical work concerning the craft, in order to probe and challenge your own ideas and assumptions about the practice and production of this writing form. Rather than see the practice of journalism and the critical study of journalism as distinct activities, this module aims to engage you as critical readers and writers whose work is informed by both contexts. In so doing, you'll gain a greater understanding of the demands and conventions of journalistic writing, develop and sharpen your own work, and gain the discursive flexibility which will allow you to navigate the writing of journalism today.

LDCC5013A

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AMA UG INTERNSHIP

You will work within a creative/cultural/media organisation for a semester. The module emphasises industry experience, sector awareness and personal development through a structured reflective learning experience. You will have the opportunity to work within your host organisations and undertake tasks that will help you to gain a better understanding of professional practices within your chosen sector. Your assessment tasks will provide you with an opportunity to critically reflect on the creative and cultural sector in which you have worked, as well as providing opportunities to undertake presentations, gather evidence, and articulate your newly acquired skills and experiences.

AMA-5029A

20

AMERICAN CRIME FICTION

This module explores America's fascination with fictional crime, exploring the emergence of American crime writing as a genre and the ways in which it develops out of changing understandings of American society and of social deviance within it. In the module, you will therefore examine the ways in which critics have seen the genre as both an ideological form designed to individualize social problems and, conversely, as a form of social investigation and criticism. Most particularly, you will explore the ways in which American crime fiction has articulated the tension between fantasy and realism as literary ideas, so that it concerns the confrontation between uncanny events and the application of rationality to deal with them. In other words, you will investigate the ways in which American crime fiction develops out of debates over enlightenment and scientific method, and the ways in which the genre has been discussed in relation to issues of gender and race, not only in terms of their representation but also of their production and consumption.

AMAL5038A

20

AMERICAN MUSIC

The first book published in the New World was a hymn book. Music, sacred and profane, has been at the centre of American lives ever since. Distinctive American musical styles still dominate the globe, as they have done for decades. But how did American music develop into the genres that we recognise today? How did uniquely American sounds catch the ear of listeners all over the world? You will gain a thorough understanding of the development of American music. You will focus on a number of distinctive musical traditions - from minstrelsy to blues, jazz, and country; from rock and roll to hip hop - and consider the way that they have shaped popular music today. Throughout the course, you will encounter a rich variety of music and an extraordinary range of characters, from the most famous entertainers in modern culture, to the obscure, the forgotten and the neglected. Whilst exploring the development of American music, you will also examine the ways in which its growth tells a larger story about the history of America and its people. In particular, it will give you a different perspective on the issue of race in American life. Through seminar discussion, written coursework, and group presentations, you will develop your analytical and critical abilities - whether that means your ability to think about the significance of a song and its meaning for a particular historical moment, or the way that the shifting meaning of a genre of music can tell us many things about its wider social and cultural context.

AMAS5023A

20

LIVING ON THE HYPHEN: Multi-ethnic American Literatures

America has long been interpreted as the location of social possibility founded upon a desire to assimilate and negate ethnic 'others'. In this module, you'll trace and explore the literary responses of distinct 'American' cultures: including Native American; African American; Asian American; and Latin American. Through studying each distinct group of texts, you'll engage with the specific historical, cultural and political relationships between the US and each author's country of origin or national/cultural history, across the 20th and 21st centuries. You'll also make connections between these distinct groups of writers, to consider topics such as race and racism, exile, return, family, belonging, identity, language and memory, colonisation, imperialism, slavery, segregation, immigration, and illegality/invisibility, with an emphasis upon contemporary experiences. Via important multi-ethnic writers and texts, you'll explore what constitutes American literature aesthetically, temporally, geographically, and culturally, evaluate the value of the term 'multi-ethnic' and its place within American literary studies, and engage critically with questions of American literature as 'World literature'. Through seminar based discussions, you'll develop your ability to evaluate literary texts as contributions to historical revisions and debates, and also as representations of identity, belonging, the nation state, politics, and culture. You will be assessed through coursework, while gaining experience of communicating your ideas via seminar discussion and group presentation, and you'll have the opportunity to engage in peer to peer assessment practices. On successful completion of the module, you'll have the knowledge and skills to consider the diversity of American literature and the complexities of American cultural and national identity.

AMAL5077A

20

POWER AND PROTEST: AMERICAN RADICALS AND DISSENT

How do you speak truth to power? How do you challenge governments and transform society for the better? These questions have been at the heart of movements for social and political justice in the United States. By taking this module, you will develop a broad understanding of how American power has been protested throughout the twentieth century. Specifically, you'll learn how and why dissenting voices have challenged political, cultural and social conventions. Classes will examine state and non-state actors -- including intellectuals, activists, politicians, whistleblowers and cultural produces - who have sought to bring about the end of unjust political practices in the United States. While often marginalised or ostracised, these figures assumed pivotal roles in movements that were dedicated to achieving class, race, gender and sexual equality in America. You will be introduced to primary and secondary source material that illuminate key moments in the history of American dissent. In addition to this you will be asked to grapple with important questions relating to how radical politics should be defined, as well as considering how protest movements have been disrupted by the U.S. government. On successful completion of this module you will have a broad understanding of American political history and the development of social movements in the United States. You will also be able to clearly articulate how protest has shaped the American nation. Finally, through the close study of a range of cultural and political texts including autobiographies, speeches, newspapers and film, you will develop key analytical skills that are vital to the study of history and politics.

AMAH5037A

20

Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

20TH CENTURY AMERICAN POETRY

Your module provides a broadly chronological view of American poetry from the start of the 20th century to the present day. It wonders about what the consequences might be if we consider seriously Emerson's claim (made in 1844), that America might be seen as a poem. Through detailed examination each week of groups of related poets, your module aims both to question what constitutes an American poetics, and to examine how this conception has changed over the course of the 20th century. As well as tracing a trajectory in American poetry from modernist to postmodernist modes, one of its primary concerns is also to start exploring how ideas of what an American poetry might be are inflected differently in 'mainstream' and in more avant-garde (or 'experimental') poetries. Indeed, by explicitly thinking about these differences you will pay particular attention to the ways in which ideas of nationhood, of political dissent and protest, of poetic 'groupings' and canon-formation, are instrumental in determining what we choose to see as America's representative poetry. You will gain a wide knowledge of a range of different 20th-century American poetries, as well as a strong sense of how the political, cultural and literary 'tastes' of America across the century have delivered it the sorts of poetry it deserves.

AMAL5011B

20

AMERICAN CULTURE, 1919-1946

The period between World War I and the Cold War was a period of dramatic change in the United States: from the seemingly endless prosperity of the twenties to the depression of the thirties; from isolationism to World War II; and from a population that lived in predominantly rural or small-town communities to one increasingly located in large urban centres or their suburban satellites. You will explore the changing economic, political and cultural history of this period, particularly through an examination of the cultural debates over the modernity of the twenties, the New Deal of the thirties and America's changing place in the world during this time. In order to explore these issues, you will engage with a wide range of sources that include political documents, literary texts and films.

AMAS5051B

20

CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN FICTION

Writers who want to address the contemporary scene confront a dilemma: as soon as you try to capture it on the page, you've already fallen behind the present moment. You'll explore how contemporary American writers nonetheless respond to this challenge. You'll consider the issues they identify as pressing in American culture, as well as the literary strategies used to explore those issues. As you progress in the module, you'll acquire understanding of a number of important concepts associated with contemporary American fiction, such as postmodernism, metafiction, identity, globalisation, and memory. When you've completed the module, you'll be familiar with a number of literary and cultural debates relating to contemporary American culture, and have detailed knowledge of some of the most exciting writers working today. You'll be able to explain why it is difficult to define, and write about, the 'contemporary.' And in the course of your assessed work and seminar discussions, you will develop your communication, writing, and research skills.

AMAL5079B

20

FAKE NEWS! AMERICAN JOURNALISM, HISTORY AND PRACTICE.

How do we know what is real and what is fake? Previous generations, we are told, could reliably turn to "the news"#but is that really true? From the very beginning, American news was always synonymous with low scandal, scurrilous rumour, and fakery. And yet, there is no doubt that there have been crucial moments when journalists and journalism have gone beyond merely reporting events, to shape the public imagination. "The news" has always manipulated as much as informed its audiences, and in this module you will learn about how this in turn has shaped American life. In learning about the history of journalism and its cultural impact in America in the wider global context, you will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the art of journalism, both critically and in practice. You will engage with questions surrounding print, broadcast and digital media#looking back to the past, reflecting on the present, and looking forward into the future of journalism. You will consider the ways in which marginalised peoples have sought to assert their voices through news media, by seizing the means by which our public understanding of reality is produced. The work will involve critical readings, engagement with primary source materials, seminar discussions, presentations, and critical writing with creative practice. You will have the opportunity to refine your communication skills, and especially the art of writing in different modes for different audiences.

AMAS5049B

20

OF MICE AND KRAZY KATS: HISTORY AND ART OF AMERICAN COMICS

Are comics art? The answer is yes, and this module will show you why through an in-depth examination of American comics from early newspaper strips to contemporary graphic novels. You'll read a wide range of different comics, including the birth of superheroes, World War II propaganda comics, controversial horror comics, underground comix from the San Francisco counterculture, recent alternative comics, and the current boom in reality-based graphic novels. You'll learn about the complex history of American comics, including the specific contexts for the form's development as a mass medium and its frequent marginalisation in the cultural sphere, such as the great comic-book scare of the 1950s. In the process, you'll learn to pay special attention to form as well as content when reading comics, and will develop a critical vocabulary for evaluating the aesthetics of the form. In addition to a broad selection from the history of American comics, you'll also examine comics through different thematic perspectives, such as race, gender, and sexuality, and you'll read critical material that'll further inform your understanding of the form. You'll learn through seminars as well as through independent library study of the periods and themes that resonate the most with you, and you'll be assessed through coursework. At the end of the module, you'll have gained a deep understanding of the many historical and cultural issues that inform any appreciation of comics, and you'll have learned to consider the form as a unique and mature form of American art.

AMAS5050B

20

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

The legacy of the American Revolution reverberates throughout American history and culture. In addition to representing the nation's beginnings, the events and ideas of the revolutionary era have fundamentally shaped the way Americans think about themselves, their nation, and their history. Politics, law, popular culture, and literature have all drawn on the legacy of the American Revolution. But what exactly is that legacy and how has it been used? In this module you'll explore the answers to these questions. In addition to looking at the history of the Revolution itself, you'll consider the ways in which the legacy of those events has been shaped and reshaped over time. You'll use a range of primary and secondary sources, historical and cultural, to develop a deeper understanding of the events which led to the creation of the United States. And you'll discuss and debate the ways in which that history has been retold. You will be introduced to the history of the revolutionary era, from the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763, through the war against the British, writing the Constitution, to the election of Thomas Jefferson in the "revolution of 1800." The Revolution affected nearly all aspects of American life, including the political economy of slavery, gender relations, economic development, and the pace and pattern of white settlement, all of which you will explore in this module. You will also consider the extent to which the history of the Revolution is accurately (or otherwise) represented in contemporary discussions and ask what such representations might tell us about contemporary American politics and society. By the end of the module you will have a deeper understanding of the ideas, events, and people which shaped the founding of the United States and its subsequent history. You will also develop a critical understanding of some of the ways in which that history has been used to define core American values. You will strengthen your skills in researching, reading, analysing, and discussing a wide range of primary and secondary source material. You will also develop your oral communication skills and your critical writing skills through class-based discussions and written assignments.

AMAS5048B

20

THEY CAME FROM OUTER-THE-CLOSET: GENDER, SEXUALITY AND PANIC IN AMERICAN FILM

With a main focus on the 20th century, we will explore key moments of change or crisis in the century and consider the ways the panic caused by such changes is distinctly gendered and/or sexualised. We will concurrently examine gender and sexual resistance to dominant ideas of American identity and the subsequent creation and/or promotion of liberationist discourses and alternative communities. Film will provide the focus for this cultural study, and the module will range widely over a number of different genres including the western, sci-fi, detective and LGBT themed works.

AMAS5020B

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AUSTEN AND THE BRONTES: READING THE ROMANCE

This module considers texts by Austen and the Brontes in relation to a wide variety of literary and historical contexts: feminisms, colonialism, impact of war, the social status of the woman writer, representations of governesses, madness, mad women and mad men, rakes, foreigners and strangers. We investigate the forms of communication which seem to be offered by and in the romance novel and the ways in which the lives of these authors have been told and read as romances. Opportunities will be available to work on film versions and students will also have, as part of the assessment, the opportunity to produce their own piece of creative writing in response to the primary texts.

LDCL5035B

20

CONTEMPORARY FICTION

What is the state of the art of the novel at present? And what are some of the distinguishing preoccupations and characteristics of the contemporary novel? This module seeks to consider these questions with a view to developing an understanding of the condition of the novel today. The module focuses on fiction published in the UK and Ireland in the last ten years, with a particular focus on more inventive writing. We'll read a small set of contemporary novels, the content and form of each of which will exemplify some of the possibilities for fiction in the present day. We'll consider the relation between the contemporary novel and the contemporary moment - for example, our concerns regarding the environment, identity, nationhood, and history - and think also about what it might mean to be or to call oneself contemporary: to be together with one's own time. The list of authors chosen for the module changes regularly, as you would expect. Recently, it has included the likes of Ali Smith, Anne Enright, Zadie Smith and Mohsin Hamid. You'll consider a range of ways of conceiving and interpreting the contemporary novel, and discuss these ways with your peers. There is no consensus about what does or should constitute a canon of contemporary fiction, although there is a growing critical literature on the subject, some of which we'll read. It will be our job, in lectures and in seminars, to think carefully about what novels published in the last ten years offer the best argument for the continued viability of the novel itself as a contemporary art form.

LDCL5069B

20

EUROPEAN LITERATURE

In this module, you'll examine examples of twentieth-century European writing (all read in translation). Rather than (merely) place writers in their national contexts, you'll deal with topics, issues and formal experiments that complicate, sometimes transcend, national boundaries. In fact you'll interrogate what 'European' might mean in relation to literature - where are the borders? Are continental Europeans fundamentally 'other'? And if so, how does this otherness manifest itself aesthetically, thematically, tonally and formally? You'll look at how writers from different countries frequently challenge the conventions of genre and the conventions of reading and interpreting. Among a range of important innovations (or continuities), you may explore varieties of 'European' modernism, postmodernism, the absurd, fantasy, noir, and other genres. You'll also ask how European writers have responded to the challenges, upheavals and catastrophes of the twentieth century and how they deal with the ethnic, religious and cultural diversity within Europe. You'll engage with these topics in weekly lectures, and you'll be assessed by means of an individually chosen project (supported by a formative proposal followed by individual and group tutorials).

LDCL5033B

20

FEMINIST THEATRES

What was the feminist theatre movement and what does it mean for you now as a writer, theatre maker and/or scholar? Feminist Theatre allows you to explore key feminist theatre makers from the Suffrage movement to the present, focusing on radical companies and writers of the 1970s and 1980s. Combining seminars and practical workshops, you will investigate what feminist historiography is and how you can engage creatively with archives. The module invites you to draw on a lineage of feminist ideas and methods to consider and challenge the continued under representation of women in theatre (and beyond). Assessment will be part analytical and part creative or creative-critical work, with an option to create a performance. All welcome! No need to identify as a woman or feminist to take part.

LDCD5058B

20

FICTIONS OF HISTORY

'What is historical fiction and what do historical writers have to say? What are the pleasures and challenges of reading and writing in the genre, and how does a historical writer conduct and employ their research? What do critics and theorists think? In this module you will explore such questions and more. Your studies will stimulate and support your own critical and creative responses. You will learn about the development of the literary genre in its various forms, including the experimental, consider the differences between writing history and writing historical literature, study debates about authenticity, the relationship between historical subject and contemporary viewpoint and about appropriation and entitlement when writing about a culture's history. You will have the opportunity to respond to these questions in critical and/or creative forms of assessment. Writers studied, are likely to be from the 19th to the 21st centuries, and might include Margaret Atwood, Emma Donaghue, Salman Rushdie, Andrew Miller, Andrea Levy, Sarah Waters and Virginia Woolf, as well as poets such as Robert Browning.

LDCL5082B

20

MUSIC AND THEATRE

From Hollywood blockbusters to Greek tragedy, music is an integral part of theatre. It stirs our passions, feeds our understanding, and transports our spirits beyond the ordinary world. But unless it is the focus of a performance, as in musicals or opera, music is often taken for granted. We know this character is evil, that play uplifting, and this thriller scary. But we don't always acknowledge how music plays a role in leading us to these conclusions, how it influences our understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of theatre. This module hopes to change that. We will look at examples of theatre from the Greeks to the moderns, as well as musicals, operas, and film.

LDCD5057B

20

PUBLISHING (SPR)

Have you ever wondered how books are chosen for publication, or do you want to set up a literary magazine? This module address conceptual as well as practical aspects of the publishing of texts, including discussions around readership the meaning of editorship and what constitutes an editorial policy. You will be taught how to set up, run and market your own publication (such as a magazine, a book, a fanzine), to consider the principles of good design, and will learn the rudiments of finance, scheduling and copyright law. You'll begin with an introduction to the concepts behind cover and page design, and an opportunity to put your new knowledge into practice by designing and writing copy for a book jacket. You go on to present and develop an idea for a short publication and, via discussion, class exercises and private research, learn to write or select, then edit, material for it. You will engage with the processes involved in its hypothetical production and learn to identify and address its readership. You'll also benefit from taught sessions on Adobe Indesign software in our Media Suite to enable you to design your publication at a simple, basic level. As you study you'll gain experience in communicating your ideas to a class and in tutorial, as well as through word and image in your formative work and portfolio.

LDCL5065B

20

READING AND WRITING CONTEMPORARY POETRY

Using the reading and study of poetry from the post-war context up to the present day, you'll consider some of the concerns of poetry including voice, form/structure and the 'poetry of witness'. You'll also look at contemporary visual art to consider correspondences between the arts. The poets studied will be drawn principally from an Anglo-American tradition and may include such writers as Frank O'Hara, Elizabeth Bishop, Yusef Komunyakaa, Carol Ann Duffy, Carolyn Forche, Patience Agbabi and Emily Berry among others. Formative work includes creating a mini-anthology of contemporary poetry and there will be the chance to discuss poems you've written or read. You'll be able to write creatively and/or critically for assessment.

LDCL5073B

20

ROMANTICISM 1780-1840

1780-1840 was the Age of Revolution and Romanticism, often regarded as a revolutionary style of writing. It was the age of the American and French Revolution and the Wars they entailed, the age of slavery and rebellion, of empire and conquest. You may think of Romantic writing as mainly nature poetry, primarily work by Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, and Byron. But the signs of a 'Romantic' sensibility can also be found in a much broader constituency of writing: the novel, letter writing, the essay, political and aesthetic theory, and social commentary. In this module you'll be introduced to some of the most exciting Romantic period writing, including poetry, fiction and non-fictional prose from the Age of Revolution. You'll also explore key period artistic and literary concepts such as the sublime, beautiful, picturesque, the Hellenic, and pastoral, and you'll analyse the many ways in which the writers of the period exploited concepts of landscape. You'll look at issues such as the Supernatural and Dreaming. Your understanding of Romantic writing will be enhanced by an analysis of aesthetics, politics, and of the work of women writers. During the course you'll explore poetry by Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, as well as Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park (1816) and Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein (1818; 1831). You may also consider writings by less familiar poets, such as John Clare, Charlotte Smith, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Mary Robinson, as well as prose works by Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine and Mary Wollstonecraft and others. You'll look at how writing is gendered in the period and the implications of this for both male and female writers. You'll be taught through a mixture of one-hour weekly lectures and two-hour weekly seminars, as well as self-directed study. You'll gain experience in communicating your ideas in tutorials, as well as through written work and presentations. You'll be assessed through two formative pieces (a close reading and a project bibliography) and one summative piece on a project chosen by yourself in discussion with your seminar tutors.

LDCL5034B

20

SHAKESPEARE

The aim of this lecture-seminar module is to help you become a better reader of Shakespearean drama. Shakespeare is now so universally known and read that it is easy to forget that he wrote at a specific historical moment for specific audiences, actors and theatrical spaces. What happens to our understanding of Shakespeare's plays when we read them within the context of theatrical performance? This is what our module enables you to do -- and in doing so, it aims to give you fresh, new ways to interpret Shakespearean language and theatricality. Lectures equip you with methods and contexts for reading Shakespeare's plays; seminars give you the chance to put these into practice through close, attentive readings of his plays. Each week we study a different play in detail. The summative assessment asks you to put what you've been learning into practice by writing a critical analysis of more than one play using some of the module's methods. THIS MODULE FULFILS THE PRE-1789 REQUIREMENT.

LDCL5070B

20

THE SHORT STORY (SPR)

What is a short story? What do short story writers have to say? What about short story critics and theorists? Is the short story a narrative in miniature? Or is there more to a short story than simply being 'short'? And why are critics so concerned with whether the short story is alive or dead? These are the kind of questions this module will investigate by asking you to think as a short story reader, theorist, critic and writer. Reading will be drawn from short story writers - and writing about the short story - roughly spanning the 19th century to the present, and from a range of cultural contexts. Our interest will not be to establish a history of the short story, but instead to explore the range of thematic preoccupations, changing definitions, and critical debates surrounding the form. You'll have the opportunity to respond to these questions in critical and/or creative forms of assessment. Writers studied might include Edgar Allan Poe, Katherine Mansfield, Julio Cortazar, Anton Chekov, Ali Smith and Ryunosuke Aqutagawa.

LDCL5075B

20

THREE WOMEN WRITERS

'I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.' Virginia Woolf wrote these words in A Room of One's Own, her polemical essay about women and fiction. Woolf suggests that historically women have been reticent about openly declaring themselves as writers. Elsewhere in the piece she argues that literary language itself is unfit for women's use and that women's writing is distinct, undervalued and hampered by women's social, economic and political history. This module puts Woolf's assertions to the test. In this module you'll read the work of Woolf and two of her contemporaries, for example, Katherine Mansfield and Edith Wharton. You'll explore their writing in its historical and cultural context and you'll think about how it may or may not have influenced later thinking about the position of women. You'll consider whether or not you think their writing was innovative and what relevance it might have for us today. Each week you'll read a work by one of the three writers on the module alongside a short piece of critical writing, either contemporary with the main text or an extract from a later time that in some way engages with the themes of the week's central text. You'll learn through close reading, class discussion and independent study. Each week there'll be opportunities for members of the group to present their ideas and research on either the main or the critical text - work that can be developed in your summative assessment which will consist of one essay submitted towards the end of the semester. Your growing knowledge and understanding of the concerns and debates that were current at the time the texts were written will enable you to unlock some of the preoccupations that can lie hidden beneath the visible surface of these women's writing. These books were written at the turn of the twentieth century, but by the end of the module you'll not only be able to assess their impact in their own time but also discuss just how significant they are to society today.

LDCL5050B

20

VICTORIAN WRITING

This module aims to equip you with a knowledge of writing from across the Victorian period, in a variety of modes (fiction, poetry, science, journalism, criticism, nonsense). We will examine authors such as George Eliot, Tennyson, Dickens, Darwin, Charlotte Bronte, and the Brownings. You will thus develop an awareness of how different kinds of writing in the period draw on, influence, and contest with each other. Likewise, you will acquire a sense for the cultural, political and socio-economic contexts of 19th-century writing, and some of the material contexts in which that writing took place (serial publication, popular readership, periodical writing, public controversy).

LDCL5067B

20

WORDS AND IMAGES

In this module, you will explore the relationship between words and images in contemporary literature. You will cover what is meant by reading images, examine the varying but related stories that words and pictures tell, and analyse the narrative techniques employed in illustrated texts. As well as developing a critical vocabulary with which to discuss how these two media can be combined, you will survey shifts in the generic conventions of such literature over the last few decades so you develop an awareness of the various narrative techniques utilised by the medium. Rather than assuming comics are simplistic, debased or 'illiterary', you will address the medium as a site of exciting and innovative literary and artistic experimentation. You will also have the chance to carry out your own creative work in the genre.

LDCL5068B

20

WORKING WITH WORDS

This module offers students the opportunity to develop both critical understanding and practical skills in writing and the communication of ideas within and for professions in the creative industries, and to gain an appreciation and knowledge of the sector and its place in the creative economy. Through a combination of lectures, masterclasses, seminars and workshops, students will be exploring both the form and context of writing within the publishing industry, journalism, film and broadcast, new media writing (digital content, blogging), and other forms of writing within the creative industries. The module is closely aligned to 'Working with Words', the annual, UEA-based student conference that explores communication and writing in the workplace. Both formative and summative assessments will be informed by this event, and therefore attendance will be compulsory. Students will also participate in a project supporting a live, national website, 'After English' hosted and managed by UEA. Selections of writing produced in the module will be uploaded to this site. The module demands a high level of participation and students will be expected to engage in regular writing exercises, individual and group research and project work. Students will be expected to undertake a summative project which requires them to research a specific area of practice in the creative industries sector, create examples of written work pertinent to this, and reflect on their own development. This module is designed for students who are interested in exploring their own career identity as 'writers' but are prepared to scrutinise and contextualise this identity through wider industry and career research and practice.

LDCL5078B

20

WRITING THE WILD

It is a popular conception that writing about the natural world and its fragility is a particular fixation of the late twentieth and early twenty first century. However, concern about the natural world and man's place in his environment became a major preoccupation in the eighteenth century. Writing the Wild asks to what extent nature writers in our period may be read as being in dialogue with their eighteenth century predecessors. Texts will be predominately non-fiction and will give students the opportunity to study the less familiar writings of such authors as Mary Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen alongside contemporary nature writing by Richard Mabey, Robert Macfarlane, Kathleen Jamie and Tim Dee. Topics will include: nostalgia, the impact of war on writing about the countryside, the relationship between nature, writing and the mind and the notion of 'landscape'. This module offers students the opportunity to write 'creatively' as well as 'critically'.

LDCL5059B

20

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

AMERICAN STUDIES SEMESTER ABROAD: AMERICA

A semester spent at a North American (United States or Canada) university taking an approved course of study.

AMAY5027A

60

AMERICAN STUDIES SEMESTER ABROAD: AUSTRALIA

A semester spent at a university in Australia or New Zealand taking an approved course of study.

AMAY5026B

60

AMERICAN STUDIES YEAR ABROAD

A year spent at an American university taking an approved course of study.

AMAY5028Y

120

Students must study the following modules for 30 credits:

Name Code Credits

AMERICAN STUDIES DISSERTATION

You will complete an independent research project leading to a dissertation of 8,000 words to be submitted at the end of the semester. A member of American Studies faculty will supervise the dissertation.

AMAS6056B

30

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

CHARLES DICKENS: BEYOND REALITY

Charles Dickens has been described, and cherished, as one of the great chroniclers of the panorama of mid-Victorian society. At the same time, much modern criticism has rightly emphasised what a strange and innovative writer he is, less a documentary social realist than an early practitioner of what might now be called 'magical realism'. You will examine works from across Dickens's writing career, in a variety of different modes - fiction, journalism, essays, and public speaking - reading them not only in the context of Dickens's times, but also in the context of how other writers in those times dealt with comparable questions, and as part of a larger investigation of art and its relations to the world. As a result, you will be able to develop your interests in the relationships between social reality and its literary representations, in a module which combines in-depth study of Dickens with a broader engagement with theories of realism.

LDCL6136A

30

CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

This module offers you the chance to learn about children's literature and its development. It starts with the history of children's literature, looking at its use as a pedagogical tool, moving through Aesop's fables, fairy tales, Victorian and Edwardian literature, and examining authors that might include A.A Milne, Dr. Seuss, Sherman Alexie, and Melvin Burgess, amongst others. The course looks at issues of genre and content as well as at historical context. Theoretical readings on children's literature are also closely engaged with. By studying the development of children's literature, this module also analyses the development of the concept of childhood in Western society. This module is creative and critical and students have a chance to write for children in it.

LDCL6038A

30

DARK ROMANTICISM: THE GOTHIC INHERITANCE

Who hath not loiter'd in a green church-yard, And let his spirit, like a demon-mole, Work through the clayey soil and gravel hard, To see scull, coffin'd bones, and funeral stole; Pitying each form that hungry Death hath marr'd, And filling it once more with human soul? (John Keats, 'Isabella; or, the Pot of Basil (1817) 'Dark Romanticism' is a literary subgenre of 'Romanticism', reflecting a fascination with the irrational, the demonic and the grotesque. Intimately related to Gothicism, it has haunted the Romantic movement ever since its beginnings in the eighteenth century. Romanticism's celebration of unity, creativity, and sublimity has always been menaced by a dark and contrary fascination; with melancholia, insanity, nightmare, criminality and death; with ghosts, monsters and vampires; and with the grotesque and the irrational. The term 'Dark Romanticism' was coined by Mario Praz in his classic study, The Romantic Agony (1933) to discuss European Romanticism's obsessive concern with duality, desire, agony, suicide, morbidity and decadence in the decades following the French Revolution. Numerous recent scholars have since discussed Romantic writing's preoccupation with the psychologically unusual and aberrant from a variety of perspectives including the literary, historical, philosophical and, more recently, a medical point of view. In this module, we will explore this compelling but dangerous interrelation between Romanticism and the Gothic at work in a range of 'agonies' preoccupying our writers: addiction, depression, insanity, cannibalism, monstrosity, homosexuality, the femme fatale, the double, the demonic lover, the vampire, and the Romantic pre-occupation with Lucifer himself. Our module will focus on writers such as J. W. Goethe, S. T. Coleridge, Lord Byron, John Keats, Thomas De Quincey, James Hogg, and Percy and Mary Shelley, as well as Matthew Lewis, Charlotte Dacre and Dr John William Polidori, author of that most influential story 'The Vampyre' (1819). We will read key Romantic period texts including Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther, Byron's Don Juan, Keats's 'Isabella or the Pot of Basil', Coleridge's 'Christabel', James Hogg's Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner; Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater, and Percy Shelley's drama, The Cenci, as well as lesser known but influential works. You will be encouraged to deliver group presentations on these key texts and subjects, developing your own interests and ideas and working towards the longer research essay by which the module will be assessed.

LDCL6166A

30

FROM KAFKA TO SEBALD: ASPECTS OF 20TH CENTURY 'GERMAN' WRITING

You will be presented with an opportunity to study in depth a number of key works of 20th century German literature and to explore ways in which they respond to, and reflect, the upheavals of 20th century history. While the focus will be largely on works of prose fiction, this does not preclude the study of other genres. Starting with the modernist crisis of language ("Chandos-crisis") we will look at works by authors such as Kafka, Rilke, Benjamin, Thomas Mann, Joseph Roth, Ingeborg Bachmann, Christa Wolf and W. G. Sebald. All works studied are available in translation so that a knowledge of German, while always welcome, is not a requirement.

LDCL6148A

30

GHOSTS, HAUNTING AND SPECTRALITY

From Defoe's True Relation of Mrs Veal's posthumous visit to her friend Mrs Bargrave through the classic English ghost stories of MR James to the ghosts in the machine of modern media, the ghost, shade, revenant or spectre continues to haunt human imagination. Subtle shadings of the spectre materialise at different times, in different contexts - materialised reminder of unquiet remains; manifestation of memory or the unconscious; physiological disturbance; psychical stain. These undecidable and ambivalent presences, or uncanny sensations of hauntedness, will be explored in this module. Writers studied on the module might include Daniel Defoe, M.R. James, Henry James, Margaret Oliphant, May Sinclair and Susan Hill. The module will draw on studies mapping the development of the belief in ghosts (Sasha Handley's Visions of an Unseen World) and exploring the cultural history (Andrew Smith's The Ghost Story 1840 - 1920). It will also consider critical engagements, such as Jacques Derrida's Specters of Marx and Jodey Castricano's Cryptomimesis.

LDCL6160A

30

LATIN AMERICAN NARRATIVES

'Who would have imagined fifteen years ago that writings of the outcast Chilean Roberto Bolano who washed ashore in Barcelona via Mexico, would exercise so wide an influence on writers in Spain, Latin America and across the world?' (Granta, Issue 113) And yet, Bolano's literary output is unthinkable without Borges, just as the Colombian Juan Gabriel Vasquez's Secret History of Costaguana is inconceivable without Conrad's Nostromo. Throughout this module you'll discover the ways in which literatures travel across national boundaries. You'll explore the web of literary influences woven into some of these Latin American narratives, as well as trace the itinerary of these influential threads as they travelled from the South of the American continent to other literatures. You'll explore the core of storytelling that underpins Latin American literature and which surfaces in various forms of writing, from the short story to the prose poem and the novel, as well as the 'rewriting' exercise/critical appraisal, such as Alejandra Pizarnik's The Bloody Countess. You'll read works by Borges, Cortazar, Bolano, Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Clarice Lispector, Alejandra Pizarnik, Valeria Luiselli, amongst others. You'll be encouraged to close read texts and share your ideas in seminars and one-to-one tutorials, as well as through written work.

LDCL6093A

30

LITERATURE AND SCIENCE 1660-1750

What is science? What is scientific language? Did you know that there was no such thing as a scientist until 1833? We're accustomed to thinking of literature and science as separate disciplines - science deals with cold hard facts, literature with the imaginary and fictional - but to the occupants of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, such a distinction would have been strange and unfamiliar. On this module, you'll investigate how the current separation between literature and science came about. You'll explore the social, cultural, and ideological imperatives that secured the dominance of science in intellectual discourse; you'll examine how notions of scientific objectivity emerged; and you'll discover how the new and allegedly more 'rational' knowledge produced by scientific practice was received by its first audiences. You'll read a variety of texts, ranging from advocates of the new science (such as Thomas Sprat, part founder of the Royal Society in 1660, and Richard Bentley, proponent of later Newtonian philosophy); to early modern scientific writing (such as Robert Hooke, who famously described a fly's eye seen through a microscope, and Robert Boyle, whose experiments with a bird inside an air pump became one of the most well known images of the enlightenment); to literary estimations of the value (or otherwise) of scientific knowledge. This module will provide you with a sense of historical perspective, and an understanding of the kinds of agenda implicit in the modern claim that STEM subjects make the humanities seem both impracticable and unprofitable. This module fulfills the pre-1789 requirement.

LDCL6170A

30

MINOR LITERATURES: RESISTANCE, RADICALISATION AND READING

You'll explore writing as a site of resistance and protest and consider representation itself as inherently political. Does this make the work of a reader radical, or how can that work be radicalised? Taking a lead from the thinking of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, you'll ask what it means to write or speak a dominant language in such a way that it stutters or stammers? What would such writing or speaking look or sound like? Deleuze and Guattari suggest that minor literature (minoritarian form in general) takes a dominant, hegemonic, major language and forces it to 'say' something different, and to do so differently, dislocating (deterritorialising) it so that a new voice (speaking from a new constituency) can be heard. They use the works of Kafka, a Czech Jew writing in 'official' German, as a representative example of how a dominant, major language can be pressed into the service of a minor literature, as a way of inscribing new constituencies, while other critics have considered sub-cultures' re-appropriation of language, post-colonial writing back, musical subgenres and alternative/underground cinema as also being iterations of minoritarian impulses. You'll explore various aspects of writing or speaking back, writing against the grain, saying the things major language finds itself unable or uncomfortable to speak about, and articulating the unheard. Writers and texts might include Kathy Acker, William Burroughs, Elias Khoury, Dana Spiotta, Jennifer Egan, along with punk 'zines, samizdat writing and manifestoes.

LDCL6146A

30

NEW NARRATIVE

New Narrative began as a late 20th century creative rebellion. From its origins in 1970s punk, second-wave feminism and the gay rights movement, New Narrative writers explored and exploited the relationship between the personal and the political, gossip and literature, high and low art. It is the place where the tell-all memoir meets critical theory, and the place from which writers talked about their own desires and their own experiences in order to challenge the status quo. It is also a writing of friendship and coterie, a place to collaborate and to be influenced: many texts from the New Narrative movement were worked on in workshops that took place in the back rooms of bookshops or in each others' apartments in San Francisco. Over the last 40 years, New Narrative has spawned generations of radical, experimental, genre-defying writers, from Kathy Acker to Chris Kraus to Maggie Nelson. You'll explore the major themes of New Narrative through reading key texts from the movement. You'll also explore the theoretical and cultural influences surrounding the movement. You will think carefully about the role of the writer in relation to the text, particularly the phenomenon of the 'cult' writer; you'll be encouraged to focus your critical studies on one particular New Narrative author in order to explore their life and legacy alongside their body of work. Finally, there will be opportunities to produce your own 'freak' and genre-defying texts.

LDCL6172A

30

STOP, LOOK, LISTEN

'Description is revelation' - so wrote the poet, Wallace Stevens. For others, description is a rather dubious activity, perhaps even dangerous. This module, devoted as it is to the history, theory and practice of description, suggests that literary description is one of the most fascinating, perhaps even revelatory, forms of writing, and one that is today experiencing something of a renaissance. Description is certainly pervasive in literature - in novels, poems and non-fiction - and yet we tend to take it for granted. What are its origins? What is its history? And what are its possibilities? We'll answer these questions through the collaborative reading of a set of brilliantly attentive texts. Our reference point will be the Journals (2006) of the English poet R.F. Langley, an extraordinary volume of set-piece encounters with the natural world, with artworks and with everyday objects and spaces, set much of the time in East Anglia. We'll read Langley's descriptions alongside the words or images or objects to which he attends, and trace the aesthetic and philosophical influences that establish a poetics and an ethics of descriptive attention. These include the ancient rhetorical figure of ekphrasis, evident in Homer and Dante, along with traditions of nature writing and art criticism. We'll spend time reading and thinking about the theory and practice of description in the novel and in poetry, and consider some of the theoretical aspects of the act and art of describing. We'll practise a little description ourselves and you'll have the opportunity to explore inventive ways of using description in your own project work.

LDCL6112A

30

THE ART OF MURDER

Crime, like death, has always been with us, yet it was only in the 19th century that de Quincey proposed considering murder as one of the fine arts and Poe established many of the central tenets of crime fiction with his 'tales of ratiocination'. Currently, crime fiction is the most bought, and read, literary genre and one diverse enough to include 'whodunits'; Baker Street's most notable resident; the genteel amateur detectives of the 'Golden Age'; hard-boiled thrillers; noir; psychological fiction and even the post-modern iterations of anti-detective fiction. Narratives about crime and criminals, detection and sleuths (not forgetting the violence and victims) can be both conservatively formulaic and radically diverse. It can articulate dangerous and disturbing transgressions against society (the crime) while also revealing the ideological forces of law (what constitutes a crime) order (the various detective figures) and the systems of justice and ill-justice (courts and punishment, state and government) with which a society protects and proscribes itself. Crime fiction is also concerned with interpreting clues, discovering secrets and solving enigmas, much in the way that critical theory investigates and analyses literary texts. In this module you will explore key texts and writers in the development of crime fiction as well as examining critical and theoretical responses to such texts. It will allow you to respond both creatively and critically to the concerns of, and thinking about this diverse genre.

LDCL6130A

30

THE CONTESTED PAST: LITERATURE AND THE POLITICS OF MEMORY

How do we negotiate the darker aspects of our past, particularly when individuals' experiences clash with official history? This module explores the public and private practices of remembering and forgetting in the aftermath of civil war, totalitarianism, colonialism or otherwise repressive rule. In particular, we'll examine the writer's role as collaborator, witness, archivist or dissident: how does the writer facilitate access to, and debate about, contentious, painful or obfuscated history? Our approach to the politics of commemoration is interdisciplinary and draws on ideas from philosophy, historiography, memory and cultural studies as well as heritage and museum studies. The primary material encompasses a range of fictional, non-fictional and visual material from a wide range of genres; most of it is postwar and relatively recent. Since these are global issues, you will also encounter writers from formerly colonised nations in Africa and Asia and from Central and Eastern Europe: be prepared to read in translation.

LDCL6097A

30

THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY NOVEL

You'll be reading two of the most important novels of the 18th century over several weeks so that you can attend to them closely as they unfold in time. The novels are Samuel Richardson's Clarissa and Henry Fielding's Tom Jones. The secondary readings will engage the central debates happening in novel studies today. You'll have the opportunity to experiment with ways of working with texts beyond close reading and draw on the methodologies of book history and of the digital humanities. THIS MODULE FULFILS THE PRE-1789 REQUIREMENT.

LDCL6144A

30

THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS: NONSENSE AND MODERN WRITING

It's widely recognised that modernist literature is characterised by a revolution of the word. Less widely recognised, and little explored, is the relationship between modernist linguistic experimentation and literary nonsense. Beginning with two 19th-century writers, Carroll and Dickinson, Through the Looking-Glass goes on to explore various of the radical disruptions in ordinary sense and meaning practiced across 20th-century writing, asking about their purposes and possibilities, and inquiring into what they tell us about ordinary language. It takes in such subjects as William's Empson's analysis and practice of poetic ambiguity; surrealism's Freudian inquiry into the illogical language of the unconscious; Joyce's invention of new words to express this illogic; Plath's surrealist play with metaphor; the early Auden's distortion of syntax, pronoun, and tense; and Ashbery's indeterminacy. We will read such work against various theories of nonsense, laughter, and play. The principal focus will be on poetry and language itself and there will be detailed discussions of word-history, ambiguity, broken syntax, incomplete metaphor. Major topics will include the relation of nonsense to dreams, jokes, games, and madness, and this will be informed by psychoanalytic theory, especially in Freud's writing. This is not a course on children's literature, but on some very challenging modern literature, mostly poetry. You will need to enjoy uncertainty and have good close-reading skills. There will be opportunities for creative writing of nonsense and creative writers are encouraged to take the module. By the end of the module you should have an understanding of the various ways in which modern writers have revolutionised and distorted language, and the reasons why they did so. You should be able to analyse the differences to meaning made by such distortions, and to trace the gaps in sense that they open. You should be able to draw on relevant theories of nonsense, laughter, play, childhood, and language, to enrich your analysis. You could offer your own creative writing in the same mode of nonsense, and if so, this will show an understanding of the techniques of the writers studied. In either case, you will have done some of your own original reading, thinking, and research, beyond the texts and topics covered in seminars. To do this module you must have typically studied Modernism, Critical Theory, or one of the 2nd year Creative Writing modules, unless you obtain a waiver from the lecturer.

LDCL6015A

30

TRAGEDY

You will look at the long history of tragedy in an effort to understand what, if anything, allows us to call both Oedipus Rex and Death of a Salesman tragedies. We will begin with the age-old question of what is the difference between tragedy in "real life" and on stage. Our answers to this question will help us isolate what it is that makes a performance specifically tragic rather than "merely" dramatic, moving, emotional. Our first readings will focus on the ancient Greeks, the inventors of tragedy, and the religious, artistic, and political circumstances that helped create this genre. Throughout the semester we will repeatedly return to the Greeks to see how more modern tragedies adapted or rejected their notions of the tragic and created new tragic criteria particular to their own time and place. We will look at the ways in which ancient tragic notions of personal responsibility are affected by new ideas about mental health, socioeconomic pressure, nature, and Christianity. Also, as we see tragedy moving into different media, such as opera, the novel, and film, we will examine the ways in which the different media of music, prose, and cinema affect the tragic effect. THIS MODULE FULFILS THE PRE-1789 REQUIREMENT.

LDCD6106A

30

WRITING RELIGION IN THE AGE OF JOHN MILTON

This module begins by introducing you to the central mythic drama of Christianity: in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and 'fell' from perfection; to save humankind, God had to turn his own son into a mortal man and let him be crucified. This story raises the most profound questions about the origins of evil, free will, redemption, and the nature of God. The module seminars unfold through intensive close-reading of the early-modern literary masterpieces which were shaped by these questions, culminating in an in-depth study of all the major late poetry of John Milton: Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes. Before reaching Milton, we read major works by his influential predecessors, which might include authors such as John Donne and Edmund Spenser, and we also pay close attention to writing by women, especially that of Lucy Hutchinson (1620-1681), who wrote her own poetic account of the Fall at the same time as John Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Summative assessment takes the form of a 5000-word project in which you will explore the module's central questions by tackling at least two of the texts we've studied. You will be given formative questions every week (and writing exercises in some weeks) to help structure your learning. The module assumes no knowledge of religion, John Milton, or of early-modern literature in general. THIS MODULE FULFILS THE PRE-1789 REQUIREMENT.

LDCL6134A

30

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AGEING IN AMERICA

What does it mean to grow old in American culture, which glorifies youth? This is the central concern of this module. You'll examine ways in which America's ageing population is framed as a problem, and encounter attempts to 'manage' it. You will think about why ageing is seen as something to be avoided or disguised, and engage with narratives about how it is gendered, raced, and classed. You will survey the history of ageing in America, focusing on middle and old age, and then conduct detailed analyses of contemporary literature, film, and television, addressing the literary question of 'late style' and figures like the grandparent and the cougar. Through assessed work and seminar discussions, you'll develop an informed understanding of issues relating to ageing in America. You'll enhance your communication, writing, and research skills, which will enable you to account for, and analyse, the contradictory stories told about ageing in American culture.

AMAS6037A

30

ALIENS, OUTSIDERS, AND EXPATS:WRITING AMERICA OUTSIDE IN

What is "American Literature"? Who do we consider to be "American" authors? You will explore these questions by examining the ways in which writers from every continent of the globe (barring Antarctica!) have imagined American places, events, eras, and cultural practices. You will consider a series of contemporary novels, each of which engages a range of issues to do with being part of a national community. From the ways in which migrant writers negotiate new ways of belonging in American sub-cultures, to the city of New York as a cosmopolitan utopia, to the "outsider" status of fantasy fiction in canons of American "literature," you will investigate how seeing through the eyes of a stranger might be one of the sharpest ways to bring America into focus as an object of study. Your reading of fiction will be complemented by a thorough grounding in a variety of relevant critical and theoretical frameworks, each designed to help you understand the primary texts more deeply and richly. Close and careful attention to narrative form#literary language, structure and characterisation#is central to the way you will approach all the texts on your module. You will learn through seminar discussion (including the chance to lead the seminar yourself), independent study, and structured formative assessment, all of which culminate in a research essay of your own design. Authors studied in the past on this module include Junot Diaz, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Neil Gaiman, and Zadie Smith, but the set texts will change from year to year to reflect the United States' ever-changing relationship with the rest of the world.

AMAL6049A

30

AMERICAN AUTOBIOGRAPHY

You will ask what is at stake in reading, writing and defining the American autobiographical 'I'. You'll soon see that defining autobiography (and even 'American') is no easy task, as tricky concepts like truth, and the politics of personhood, have influenced perceptions about who can write autobiography in America. You'll be introduced to a broadly chronological survey of some of the most important American autobiographical practitioners, and along the way we'll consider how American autobiographies are vehicles for political and ethical projects, and how they record changing understandings of, and attitudes to, the person who writes autobiography. You'll have detailed knowledge of the most important theoretical issues relating to autobiography, and be able to explain what might be especially 'American' about autobiography (as well as the limits of thinking this way). Your assessed work and seminar discussions will enable you to develop your communication, writing and research skills.

AMAL6007A

30

COMICS GET REAL: GRAPHIC NARRATIVES OF AUTOBIOGRAPHY, TRAUMA, AND WAR

Why do people draw their life stories in comics form? How can trauma be represented in words and pictures? What does it mean to bear witness to horrific events graphically? Throughout this module, you'll study the recent phenomenon of reality-based American comics, which stand in sharp contrast to the form's common association with superheroes and the fantastic. In addition to discovering comics' powerful potential for representing real-life events in engaging and disturbing ways, you'll learn to analyse both form and content, and will develop a critical vocabulary for reading, thinking, and writing about comics. You'll read comics that tell a wide variety of stories anchored in real life, and from many different genres, such as autobiography, memoir, investigative journalism, and war reportage. Throughout, you'll learn to pay special attention to issues of representation, spectatorship, and the position of the artist in relation to the events depicted. You'll also study a variety of critical and theoretical material that puts these comics-specific issues in conversation with more general concerns about the ethics of representing the real world in diverse written or visual forms. You'll learn through seminars and independent study, and will be assessed through coursework including a final essay. At the end of the module, you'll be able to read reality-based as well as other comics in a transformative way, and will have gained a deep understanding of how this vibrant and upcoming cultural form creates new opportunities for representing the increasingly complex personal and geopolitical realities of the world in the twenty-first century.

AMAS6059A

30

IF YOU KNEW CHICAGO YOU'D TALK ABOUT IT TOO: CHICAGO AND THE AMERICAN CITY

Chicago is the emblematic American city. Founded as a trading post in 1833, the city had grown to over one million inhabitants by 1890, thanks to its strategic location by Lake Michigan and as a center for the railroads. As the ultimate embodiment of the end of the agrarian era and the beginning of a new century dominated by market capitalism, no city came so far this quickly or went to the same extremes of rapid urbanization as Chicago. In this module, you'll examine Chicago as a case study for this major change in American society, looking at its history, literature, music, comics, and other cultural forms, in order to understand what happened when America left the countryside and moved to the city. You'll encounter representations of city life in novels showcasing the businessman as a new type of cultural hero, mass-media newspaper columns that helped establish a place for the urban middle class, and political slum-set novels from the Great Depression, among many other forms. Because Chicago inspires strong feelings, you will engage with texts that are impassioned, strong-willed, despondent, or celebratory, but never dull or indifferent. You'll also study a selection of historical and critical material that will contextualize the primary texts and give you a thorough understanding of the cultural and economic mechanisms that produced the Windy City. You'll learn through seminars and independent study, and will be assessed through coursework. At the end of the module, you will have gained an in-depth knowledge of the forces behind what is perhaps the definitive change in American society, as well as an understanding of its transformative impact on the American cultural imagination.

AMAS6042A

30

NATIVE AMERICAN WRITING AND FILM

Contemporary Native America is often visible only as a cultural stereotype, making the complexities of contemporary tribal experiences invisible within the American national narrative. In this module you will consider contemporary Native American self-representation, exploring recent Native writing and film as sites of cultural and political resistance, and analysing the ways in which a diverse range of Native authors, screenwriters and directors respond to contemporary tribal socio-economic and political conditions within the US. Taking popular ideas of 'the Indian', you'll consider the ways in which stereotypes and audience expectations are subverted and challenged. You'll make connections between these distinct groups of writers, to consider topics such as race and racism, indigeneity, identity, culture, gender, genre, land and 'home', community, and political issues such as human rights and environmental racism. You'll assess how complex Federal-Indian histories are related to diverse contemporary political events such as the indigenous Idle No More movement, and the NDAPL oil pipeline controversies. You will also explore how Native writers engage with the political paradox of remaining colonised within the 'Land of the Free'. Through seminar based discussion, you will develop a broad understanding of the contemporary issues faced by Native peoples, a familiarity with the ways in which stereotypes and audience expectations are subverted and challenged by Native authors, screenwriters, and directors, and insights into the ways in which Native peoples are shaping the debates around contemporary tribal socio-economic and political conditions. You will be assessed through coursework, reflective reports, and student-led workshops, and gain expertise in communicating your ideas via student-led groupwork and seminar discussion. On successful completion of the module, you will have the knowledge and skills to assess the complexities and diversities of Native American cultural and national identity, and the literary and cinematic strategies of Native writers and filmmakers.

AMAS6027A

30

THE AMERICAN NOVEL IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY

On this module you will study a vibrant selection of early twentieth century American novels and the surrounding literary, historical and critical debates. Many of the books on this module are by writers we have come to think of as a central part of 'American Literature', of the 'American Tradition', of the 'Jazz Age' and of 'American Modernism'. You will look past these labels to place these books back in a more nuanced contemporary context, and you will work on your own context as twenty-first century readers in order to re-examine the ways in which they come down through history framed to us by our own historical and cultural concerns. You will use these rich, well-researched, texts to practice the deep pattern-making and problem-solving skills that are acquired by what literary theorists call 'close reading'. Through close reading in discussion-based seminars and literary essays, you will look at the stylistic diversity of the period to unravel how these novels work on their readers, and how they look to re-imagine the form of the novel. You will consider modernity and modernism as entangled, and will use the notion of 'the modern' to investigate areas such as the representation of everyday life in early 20th century America, the Great Depression, urban and pastoral narratives, the place of the expatriate and immigrant in American life, fantasies of the American Dream, and ideas and negotiations of gender and race in the period. By studying on this module you will gain a working knowledge of canonical American writing in the early twentieth century. You'll develop close reading, writing, and discussion skills that will allow you to ground your analysis of historical, cultural, and thematic concerns in the language of the novels. You'll begin to understand the social and aesthetic concerns of American writers of the period and you'll begin to participate in the ongoing literary and critical conversation that surrounds some of the best-known authors and moments in the American writerly tradition.

AMAL6010A

30

THE BEATS

This module covers the writers known as 'The Beats' in terms of their antecedents, the literary and cultural traditions in which they worked, and the social and critical debates that raged during their heyday. The module aims to foster an understanding of the Beats in literary, political and social contexts. It will also examine the debts Beat writers owed to wider ideas of the 'avant-garde' in the Twentieth Century generally, while also investigating how a Beat poetics developed as a response to Cold War 'consensus culture' and sought to establish a countercultural, though still distinctly American, 'tradition'.

AMAS6044A

30

WRITING AMERICAN RIGHTS

The American nation was founded, at least in principle, on ideals of freedom and equality. Yet the history of rights in the United States is characterised by exclusion, injustice, and 'exemptionalism.' From the colonial seventeenth century through to the present day, ideas and ideals of rights and legal personhood have been explored, debated, interrogated, and extolled in American writing, from early pamphlets through the novelistic and poetic forms to art and music. This module will explore the relationship between rights formation, law, and the literary imagination examining such topics as natural rights, native sovereignty, reproductive rights, reparations, civil rights, LGTBQA+ rights, international and domestic rights, and human rights (for example). The module demonstrates the importance of the cultural history of creative engagement with the law and rights.

AMAS6063A

30

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AMERICAN APOCALYPSE: TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY CLIMATE CHANGE FICTION

In the 21st century, the threat of global warming and climate change is quite literally 'game-changing.' Engaging with Naomi Klein's contention that "this changes everything," you will consider how the apocalyptic dangers of climate change are being addressed by 21st century American fiction. Climate change fiction, or 'cli-fi', has recently emerged as a distinct genre, directly responding to the dangers that global warming poses to human and non-human societies. You will consider how fiction offers us ways to assess, understand, and address the phenomenon of global warming, and the impact of humans on their environments. You will evaluate ongoing debates about the 'facts' of climate change and global warming, including the evidence being produced by scientists, and the emergence of 'climate change denial' as a feature both of popular culture and at the highest levels of government in the United States. Exploring American novels published since 2010, you will develop a broad understanding of how American climate change fiction represents the profound dangers of climate change, through its depiction of drought, flood, deforestation, species extinction, intelligent biotech, and the impact of global capitalism. Through seminar based discussion, you will gain insights into the ways that writers are engaging with the fact of climate change to shape both popular awareness and popular debates, and consider how cli-fi is imagining possible futures for human and all other life on Earth. You will be assessed through coursework, reflective reports, and student-led workshops, and gain expertise in communicating your ideas via student-led group work and seminar discussion. On successful completion of the module, you will have the knowledge and skills to assess the complexities of climate change fiction as a new literary genre, discuss the emotive reach and influence of fiction in this context, and evaluate the strategies of contemporary cli-fi writers.

AMAL6012B

30

AMERICAN GOTHIC

Ghosts, witches, zombies, doppelgangers, vampires, haunted houses, deathly symbols and portents... Why is it that, in a world where culture changes quickly and irrevocably, the elements of the gothic seem to stay the same? Who are the monsters of the American imaginary? What does the American Gothic do to and with these monsters? On this module you will begin to answer these rich and complex questions. American fiction began in the period of the European Gothic novel, and its presence has marked American literature ever since. As Leslie Fiedler puts it in Love and Death in the American Novel, 'our fiction is', 'bewilderingly and embarrassingly, a gothic fiction, nonrealistic and negative, sadist and melodramatic -- a literature of darkness and the grotesque in a land of light and affirmation.' Through detailed textual and critical investigations you will look closer at the meaning of gothic conventions and consider their persisting effects in American fiction. As this module progresses you will read novels and short stories from across the nineteenth and twentieth century, in conjunction with gothic, literary critical and psychoanalytic theory. This will give you a toolkit for assessing and expanding on the patterns you will see in the gothic fiction, and for interrogating how these patterns might say something to us about American cultures, and American fears, of the time. You will study in discussion-based seminars, giving verbal presentations and writing, researching, and analysing with independence and creativity. By the end of the module you will be able to spot complex literary patterns, account for their strange and uncanny effects on the reader, and describe how American literature came to be so very haunted.

AMAL6024B

30

EXPLODED FORMS: POST WORLD WAR II AMERICAN FICTION

America post World War II is marked by great optimism and conversely an extreme sense of foreboding over the absurd conditions of life. Picking up the threads of the transatlantic discussions between continental philosophy and American fiction making, we will explore the connection between American society, literature and experimentation in the decades immediately following World War II. Authors studied may include Joseph Heller, Saul Bellow, James Baldwin, Kurt Vonnegut, Ishmael Reed, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, Hunter S Thompson, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Robert Coover and more.

AMAL6050B

30

NEW AMERICAN CENTURY: CULTURE AND CRISIS

On the eve of the twenty-first century it appeared that the United States of America was indeed entering into a new American Century with its role as global leader as strongly defined as it was a century earlier. However, the last decade and a half has been witness to a nation in turmoil and crisis, from the conflict between a universalising (Americanising) globalisation and an introspective nationalism; the war on terror and the conflicts in Afghanistan Iraq and Syria; environmental crisis and disaster; the conflict surrounding immigration and national identity, to the present financial crisis. The renewed and vigorous return to rhetoric of national 'unity' that characterised the campaign and election of Barack Obama as President of the United States in 2008, and the election of Donald J Trump in 2016, serves to highlight the historical divisions and crises of American society and underscores that contemporary America is in crisis geopolitically, economically, democratically, environmentally, and culturally. This module seeks to engage you with these areas of crisis and examine a variety of cultural responses to the America of the millennium. Through a variety of cultural texts, from literature, film and documentary, political speeches and letters, to historical texts and pop culture, we examine the ways in which these crises have been culturally and politically constructed and given particular sets of meaning.

AMAS6052B

30

STRANGE SENSATIONS: POPULAR AMERICAN WRITING IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

What did Americans read in the nineteenth century? Which American poems, novels, and plays struck a chord with readers across the globe? The answers might surprise you. This module offers you the opportunity to become familiar with a diverse variety of texts that would once have been known and loved by millions - texts, often long forgotten, that helped to define the popular culture landscape that we know today. Packed with sin, sentiment and sensation, and spanning the length of the nineteenth century, the texts on this module enthralled their audiences - and still grab the attention. You will explore their contemporary reception, consider their multimedia adaptations and the place of publishing technology in their success, examine their role in moral panics and popular crazes, and think about why so many of these extraordinarily successful texts are now forgotten, popularly and critically. You will also explore the rise of popular genres (like detective fiction and science fiction) and think about the implications of these texts for the modern entertainment world. In your coursework, you will conduct original research into this vibrant lost culture of popular literature, and help to bring some of these forgotten popular texts back into the light.

AMAL6022B

30

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • The Lost Ones

    In the late nineteenth century, as the federal government entered the final stages of US nation building with its accompanying conquest and dispossession of Native nations, a glaring question remained unanswered: what should be done with the surviving indigenous peoples who had withstood this onslaught.

    Read it The Lost Ones
  • Trump's challenge

    Trump’s challenge to the US legal system must be taken seriously.

    Read it Trump's challenge
  • UEA Award

    Develop your skills, build a strong CV and focus your extra-curricular activities while studying with our employer-valued UEA award.

    Read it UEA Award
  • Ask A Student

    This is your chance to ask UEA's students about UEA, university life, Norwich and anything else you would like an answer to.

    Read it Ask A Student

Entry Requirements

  • A Level BBB or ABC including an English Literature related subject or BBC including an English Literature related subject with an A in the Extended Project
  • International Baccalaureate 31 points including 5 in HL English
  • Scottish Highers AABBB including an English Literature related subject
  • Scottish Advanced Highers CCC including an English Literature related subject
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 2 subjects at H2, 4 subjects at H3 including an English Literature related subject
  • Access Course Humanities & Social Sciences pathway. Pass the Access course with Merit in 45 credits at Level 3 including an English Literature module
  • BTEC DDM, alongside grade C in an English Literature related subject A-level (or equivalent qualification). Excludes BTEC Public Services and Business Administration
  • European Baccalaureate 70% including 70% in an English Literature related subject

Entry Requirement

If you do not have an A-Level or equivalent qualification in English Literature (or English Language and Literature), once you have submitted your UCAS form we may then contact you to ask you to submit a short analysis of a passage of a literary text in support of your application.

UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher Level. In addition some degree programmes require specific subjects at a higher level.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (with no less than 6.0 in any component)

We also accept a number of other English language tests. Please click here to see our full list.

If you do not meet the University's entry requirements, our INTO Language Learning Centre offers a range of university preparation courses to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study.

Interviews

The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some students an interview will be requested. You may be called for an interview to help the School of Study, and you, understand if the course is the right choice for you.  The interview will cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.  Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a convenient time.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and to contact admissions@uea.ac.uk directly to discuss this further.

Intakes

The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

GCSE Offer

You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4 or above at GCSE.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be found here:

UK students

EU Students

Overseas Students

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Office prior to applying please do contact us:

Undergraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also actively encouraged to access the University's International webpages.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515