EN1GC-Genre and Context

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Michelle O'Callaghan

Email: m.f.ocallaghan@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module is designed to provide knowledge and understanding of two formative pairings of historical moment and genre: the Renaissance stage and the Victorian novel. In the first term, students will study four Renaissance plays, with an emphasis on drama as a distinct genre with its own particular conventions, and with attention to key aspects of the Renaissance stage, from playing spaces to the use of stage props. In the second term students will study three major Victorian novels, engaging with contextual issues of urbanisation, gender, sexuality and identity. In both cases, students will be encouraged to analyse literature in relation to genre and context and will gain an understanding of their intersections at particular historical moments.

This module aims to enable students to develop a critical understanding of how literature responds to, and helps to shape, particular cultural, aesthetic, generic and/or socio-political issues in times of significant innovation and change. It aims to introduce students to the ideas of genre and context which will allow a greater understanding of the forms of literature and how they develop at key moments in British literary history. The module also seeks to equip students with skills in sustained and focussed reading and analysis which will be important throughout their degree.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of this module it is expected that students will be able to:
• Exercise critical skills of close-textual analysis
• Identify, evaluate and discriminate between a variety of sources
• Exercise a sophisticated understanding of the intersections between literary and cultural developments
• Show independence in critical thinking and judgement
• Articulate critical judgement through coherent argument, both in coursework essays and under timed, examination conditions

Additional outcomes:
Oral and written communication skills will be developed, together with critical, interpretative and analytical abilities. Students will also enhance their IT competence through the use of relevant web resources in a critically informed manner.

Outline content:
Plays studied in the Autumn Term may include: William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy, Christopher Marlowe, Dr. Faustus, and John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi.

Novels studied in the Spring Term may include: Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton; Charles Dickens, Great Expectations; and Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
A combination of lectures and structured seminar discussion, for which students are required to do preparatory reading.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10 2
Seminars 9 10 2
Guided independent study 51 50 56
Total hours by term 70.00 70.00 60.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:
2 hours.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Summative Assessment Methods (%) - work which always contributes towards the overall module mark:

Formative assessment methods:
None. Feedback will be provided on the assessed essays submitted at the end of term. Feedback on written exams will be available on request from the Director of Teaching and Learning.

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:
• where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
• where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

(Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of at least 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-examination in August. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by 25nd August.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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