English Literature returns to our Choices programme
Reading informs our everyday lives. It is an important aspect, and one that is sometimes overlooked. It is, perhaps, not often that we consider what and how we read, and the meanings that stem from these readings. The question ‘what is English Literature?’ is not a simple one to answer. That, though, is part of the beauty of this subject – with its intricacies and possibilities of interpretation, reading, and re-reading.
Writing has a symbiotic relationship with reading, and it too is something that all of us do, in a variety of formats. Writing both critically and analytically, however, may not come as easily. The two new English Literature courses aim to extrapolate this curiosity and pleasure in reading; to hone in on and build these skills, enabling learners to create informed and well-constructed arguments.
These courses–Introduction to the Victorian Novel and Twentieth-Century British and American Fiction–will also respectively examine cultural, social, literary and historical contexts and modes of production. They will encourage students to read closely, to develop new ideas and interpretation/s of literature, and to think about different literary forms and constructions (or, indeed, deconstructions). Each course will include a range of texts from both canonical (more commonly known) and non canonical authors, to provide a broader scope. The courses and their skills will, to some degree, overlap and complement each other.
Specifically, ‘the Victorian Novel’ course provides an introduction to the Victorian novel, with special attention paid to genre, identity, representation, race, gender, and social class. The ‘Twentieth Century’ course will examine a range of modernist literary texts from both Britain and America and will consider modernism and its characteristics, trans-national and interdisciplinary modernist dialogue/s.
Most importantly, what is essential to both of these courses is enjoyment. They endeavour to provide a relaxed environment to discuss the topics and exchange ideas.
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English Literature Courses
This course aims to introduce students to both the Victorian novel and its cultural, social, literary and historical contexts. The Victorian period was typified by great change (in many formats), and this course will map and examine these transformations in three novels. Special attention will be paid to genre and forms of production, identity, representation, race, gender, and social class. Students will engage in close reading and employ critical and theoretical approaches.
This course will examine a range of modernist literary texts from both Britain and America. We will consider modernism and its characteristics, trans-national and interdisciplinary modernist dialogue/s, and the social, political and theoretical contexts out of which the course texts - and literary modernism more generally - emerged. Students will read the set texts closely and engage with critical and contextual literature.