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 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.

Study abroad or Placement Year

You’ll 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 2020/1

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

AMERICA NOW, AMERICA THEN.

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

READING LITERATURE IN HISTORY

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

WRITING ACROSS BORDERS

This module will study how literary texts move across borders of history, geography and culture and what happens to them when they do. It will focus on particular examples of textual travelling drawn from different historical periods and, in the process, raise critical questions about cultural exchange and the idea of literature as a form of translation and adaptation.

LDCL4021B

20

Students must study the following modules for credits:

Name Code Credits

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

CRITICAL THEORY AND PRACTICE

This is a module which you will find helpful throughout your degree, informing and perhaps changing the way you read and analyse literature, film and other cultural forms. Across the twelve weeks, 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 and cultural study.

LDCL5031A

20

EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY WRITING (pre-1789)

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 Daniel Defoe, Horace Walpole, and Elizabeth Inchbald, who developed very different versions of the novel. 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.

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

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

LGBT AND BEYOND: SEXUAL CULTURES, QUEER IDENTITIES, AND THE POLITICS OF DESIRE

How do notions of gender and sexuality shape culture, and how are in turn our understanding and experiences of gender and sexuality shaped by cultural production? How important are other times, places and identifications - associated with class, race, ethnicity - to these understandings and experiences? And to what extent can a film, an image, a testimony, or a place capture such complexity? Addressing these questions from an interdisciplinary approach, the aim of the module is to explore the ways in which gender and sexuality are constituted through a broad array of experiences, practices, and cultural products. The module focuses on issues raised in classical and contemporary research in history, politics, media, cultural studies and visual cultures such as: representation and cultural production; subjectivity; identity; identification; bodies and embodiment; performance and performativity; among others. Overall, by exploring theory in conjunction with queer cultural production that explores questions of power, identity, and desire across different racial, national, and cultural landscapes, the module aims to problematise how gender and sexuality are not stable identities or classifications but are instead processes involving normalisations, hierarchies and relations of domination that can be challenged, troubled and/or queered.

HUM-5007A

20

LITERATURE AND PHILOSOPHY

This module offers 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 Philosophy and two from Literature, Drama and Creative Writing). The seminars will discuss issues arising from these lectures, working with texts set by the lecturer.

LDCL5072A

20

MEDIEVAL WRITING (pre-1789)

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.

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 (pre-1789)

This module introduces you to a huge variety of kinds of writing from one of Britain's most exciting and turbulent periods of cultural, political and intellectual transformation: the seventeenth century. The module works through lectures, which establish larger questions we might ask of the week's material, and seminars, in which we read passages of texts together closely. We begin in the early seventeenth century by exploring the ways English writing was transformed by its encounters with classical texts (giving you the opportunity to read classical authors such as Horace and Martial in translation), before turning to explore women writers' complicated relationship to early-modern literary culture. We examine the emergence of new forms of life-writing, especially those written by women, and explore the ways in which seventeenth-century travellers wrote about their encounters with the Middle East. In the module's latter section, we ask how literary forms were transformed by the extraordinary upheavals of the English civil war and the execution of the monarch. 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. To better understand the ways early-modern texts' circumstances of publication shape their meaning, we offer the opportunity to sign up for an (entirely optional) visit to the Norfolk Heritage Centre (in the centre of Norwich) to handle their remarkable collection of seventeenth-century books.

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 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

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

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

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

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 comics 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.

AMAS5050A

20

Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

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

ARTS AND HUMANITIES PLACEMENT MODULE

This module will provide you with the opportunity work within a creative/cultural/charity/ heritage/media or other appropriate organisation in order to apply the skills you are developing through your degree to the working world and to develop your knowledge of employment sectors within which you may wish to work in the future. The module emphasises industry experience, sector awareness and personal development through a structured reflective learning experience. Having sourced and secured your own placement (with support from Career Central), you work within your host organisation undertaking tasks that will help you to gain a better understanding of professional practices within your chosen sector. Taught sessions enable you to acquire knowledge of both the industries in which you are placed as well as focusing on personal and professional development germane to the 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.

HUM-5004B

20

BREAKING 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

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

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

COMEDY AND THE ABSURD IN DRAMA

How and why does comedy work as idea and performed practice? This module explores comedy as a complex genre across time and place, using a range of themes, texts, thinkers and practitioners to consider the theory, practice, politics and place of comedy in drama, encompassing comedy as social critique or challenge, resistance or reinforcement, comedy of ideas, language, confrontation, carnival and the grotesque, comic types and bodies, gender and identity politics, clowning, metatheatre and theatricality, as well as forms such as commedia dell'arte, and farce. We will also examine the idea and evolution of 'theatre of the absurd'. Texts will vary each year and you are encouraged to seek out performed comedy in a variety of contexts, especially live, to test out theories and practice, as well as the particular relationship of comic performance to its audiences. The main mode is seminar discussion complemented by opportunities to participate in and/or observe some practical work. Assessment can be wholly written or a combination of written and performed. This module focuses on dramatic texts but is open to all.

LDCL5071B

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

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 (pre-1789)

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.

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

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 and 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

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 credits:

Name Code Credits

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

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

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

LITERATURE AND SCIENCE 1660-1750 (pre-1789)

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.

LDCL6170A

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

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

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.

LDCL6015A

30

TRAGEDY (pre-1789)

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.

LDCD6106A

30

WE'RE HERE, WE'RE QUEER: GLOBAL SEXUALITIES AND CONTEMPORARY QUEER CULTURES

The transnational movement of bodies, images, and capital has transformed modern conceptualisations of gender and sexuality. Sexual practices, identities, and subcultural formations have been altered through processes of migration and globalisation, as well as by the advent of new media technologies and the wide-reaching circulation of categories such as gay, lesbian, and transgender. In this context, this module aims to situate categories of gender and sexual difference within specific cultural and political contexts, and investigate non-normative gender and sexual formations in relation to emerging discourses on race and class and to anti-colonial theories of modernity and global capitalism. At the centre of the module sit questions such as: How have queer subjects been incorporated into nationalist projects and consumer culture? How has the liberal framework of human rights reshaped the struggles of queer movements outside the West? In what ways have transnational discourses on multiculturalism reshaped notions of queer community and belonging in global cities and in postcolonial metropolitan spaces? What role have media technologies and various forms of visual culture played in the reconstitution of gender and sexual identities and of representations of queer desire, affect, and kinship? Addressing these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective, and drawing on case studies from different geographical regions and from different disciplinary fields, the overall aim of the module is to explore the varied ways local histories and geographies interact with the forces of political, economic, and cultural globalisation, focusing especially on the experiences of sexual minorities in the Global South and of queer diasporas in the Global North.

HUM-6005A

30

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

GENDER AND AGE IN AMERICAN CULTURE

This module will focus on two key concepts in American culture, ageing and gender. It will consider the ways in which these two concepts are deeply integral to each other, shaping the identity of men and women as gendered beings always in the process of "ageing". The module will consider the intersections of age and gender in American Society and how these narratives engage with ideas of class and race in certain spaces in American culture. It will consider a wide variety of case studies including debates around the body, citizenship and representations of age and gender in memoir and visual culture. In addition, it will also reflect on rhetoric around ageing and gendered beings in public spaces such as the political arena and the workplace, allowing us to reflect how central these concepts are to the nation's narrative.

AMAS6068A

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.

AMAS6052A

30

Students will select 60 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

"QUEERS READ THIS": GENDER, SEXUALITY AND NARRATIVE

Ideas and ideals of gender and sexuality in US culture and society are all around - in advertising, film, literature and more. Most Americans engage in the performative matrix of expected patterns of gender and sexuality without really ever thinking about it; for others they can be, often painfully, aware of the limitations and impositions of such expectations. This module will see students engage with narrative theory as a means to interrogate the sustained construction and dissemination of these patterns of gender and sexuality, as well as explore those points of challenge that create fissures and changes in such patterns.

AMAS6061B

30

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", this module considers 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. In this module, 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 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

LITTLE WOMEN AND BAREFOOT BOYS: INVENTING AMERICAN CHILDHOODS

American children's literature in the nineteenth century invented the idea of modern childhood. It was also responsible for some of the most iconic characters in American literary history - from the March sisters to Tom Sawyer. Yet while contemporary audiences are as familiar with these texts as their historic counterparts, the story of the development of writing for children in America in this period is itself much less understood. This module, then, will explore the ways in which American writers addressed young audiences across a century of social and cultural change. Taking in iconic texts like Little Women and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, it will also explore a diverse range of books written for children across this period. It will analyse their engagement with events like the Civil War, issues of national and social identity, and broader social and cultural issues relating to the shifting idea of childhood in America. More broadly, it will think about the development of children's writing in America in relation to the wider issues of American literary history, and open up debates about what it meant to write for a young audience, then and now.

AMAL6052B

30

Important Information

The University makes every effort to ensure that the information within its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Occasionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, informing students and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our course information within our course finder.

In light of the current situation relating to Covid-19, we are in the process of reviewing all courses for 2020 entry with adjustments to course information being made where required to ensure the safety of students and staff, and to meet government guidance.

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 English Literature or BBC including English Literature with an A in the Extended Project
  • International Baccalaureate 31 points including 5 in HL English
  • Scottish Highers AABBB including English Literature
  • Scottish Advanced Highers CCC including English Literature
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 2 subjects at H2, 4 subjects at H3 including English Literature
  • Access Course Access to Humanities & Social Sciences pathway. Pass the Access to HE Diploma with Merit in 45 credits at Level 3 including 12 credits in English Literature
  • BTEC DDM, alongside grade B in English Literature A-level (or equivalent qualification). Excludes BTEC Public Services, BTEC Uniformed Services and BTEC Business Administration.
  • European Baccalaureate 70% including 7 in English Literature

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.

If you do not meet the academic requirements for direct entry, you may be interested in one of our Foundation Year programmes.

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 5.5 in any component)

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

INTO University of East Anglia

If you do not yet meet the English language requirements for this course, INTO UEA offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:

Interviews

Most applicants will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some applicants an interview will be requested. Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a 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 on your UCAS application.

Intakes

The annual intake is in September each year.

Alternative Qualifications

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.

GCSE Offer

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

Course Open To

UK and Overseas applicants.

  • 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 Higher Level 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 preferred. Pass the Access to HE Diploma with Merit in 45 credits at Level 3 including an English Literature module
  • BTEC DDM, alongside grade B in an English Literature related subject A-level (or equivalent qualification). Excludes BTEC Public Services, BTEC Uniformed Services and BTEC 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.

 

If you do not meet the academic requirements for direct entry, you may be interested in one of our Foundation Year programmes.

 

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each component

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

INTO University of East Anglia  

If you do not yet meet the English language requirements for this course, INTO UEA offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study: 

Interviews

Most applicants will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some applicants an interview will be requested. Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a 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 on your UCAS application.

Intakes

The annual intake is in September each year.

Alternative Qualifications

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.

GCSE Offer

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

Course Open To

UK and overseas applicants.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be found here:

UK 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 application 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 is sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The Institution code for the University of East Anglia is E14.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Please complete our Online Enquiry Form to request a prospectus and to be kept up to date with news and events at the University. 

Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

    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