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This subject explores the thematic and formal innovations of modern and contemporary literature in English. Beginning with Anglophone modernism, it introduces students to key texts from the twentieth and twenty-first century across a number of genres: poetry, drama, the novel, the short story, memoir. Modern writers struggle with representation, aesthetics and experience in an era of rapid social change. They think about cultural identity and cultural value, social norms and expectations, freedom and the law; and they work through the question of what it means to be modern in relation both to events in the past and the promises of the future. Students will be encouraged to read these texts closely and situate them in relation to their cultural, political and historical contexts. The subject will also introduce students to influential developments in literary criticism and critical theory.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- apply critical and analytical skills and methods to key texts and ideas in twentieth and twenty-first century literature;
- demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of some of the thematic and formal innovations as well as the controversies and contexts of literature in the twentieth century and beyond;
- demonstrate a general understanding of the concepts and principles of recent innovations in literary-critical methodology;
- apply an independent approach to knowledge that uses rigorous methods of inquiry and appropriate methodologies that are applied with intellectual honesty and a respect for ethical values;
- articulate the relationship between diverse forms of knowledge and the social, historical and cultural contexts that produced them;
- acquire relevant research skills including use of the library, referencing and presentation of written work;
- communicate effectively in a variety of oral and written formats; and
- work creatively, independently and reflectively to meet goals and challenges.
At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:
- be able to apply new research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
- develop critical self-awareness and shape and strengthen persuasive arguments; and
- be able to communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and to others.
Last updated: 18 May 2020