EN2CRI-Critical Issues

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites: English Part 1 or A-Level (A*, A or B)
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Neil Cocks

Email: n.h.cocks@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module investigates some of the most important concepts in modern literary study, through an examination of theoretical and critical debates. It explores ideas of structure, history, race and the uncanny. Lectures will outline some of the ways in which these concepts have been interpreted, with reference to works by specific critics and theorists from a variety of historical periods.

Aims:
Building on the critical and theoretical work undertaken in Part 1, this module aims to develop students’ understanding of some of the most important concepts in modern literary study, through an examination of critical debates and the way some recent critics and theorists have responded to them.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

•demonstrate an understanding of key concepts, issues and debates in the contemporary study of literature
•offer detailed and comparative close analysis of texts studied on the module
•engage critically with the ideas presented in lectures, seminars, or secondary materials
•organize and articulate a coherent written argument, both in coursework essays and under timed examination conditions.

Additional outcomes:
Students will be encouraged to develop skills of oral communication and effective participation in group work. They will also enhance their IT competence through the use of relevant web resources and databases and the word-processing of assessed work. Students will also gain a more confident and discriminating awareness of their own critical procedures, which should carry over into their literary studies elsewhere on the degree programme.

Outline content:
The module will explore ideas of History, Race, Structure and The Uncanny. Lectures will outline some of the ways in which these concepts have been interpreted, with reference to works by specific critics and theorists, including Hayden White, Barbara Smith, Boris Tomashevsky and Sigmund Freud. An anthology of critical theory will provide 12 extracts selected for study (three for each theme), although this can be supplemented by additional material if necessary. In seminar discussion students will examine and debate the views of particular critics or theorists as they are represented in individual essays or extracts. Bennett and Royle’s An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory will be used to situate the debate within the context of wider critical issues.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
A combination of lectures and structured seminar discussion, for which students are required to do preparatory reading. Students are also entitled to a half-hour tutorial on their formative essay. With the consent of the module convenor, students may also undertake a placement, through which they will learn how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in studying for this module in a professional context outside the University.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 1
Seminars 10
Tutorials 0.5
Practicals classes and workshops 2
Guided independent study 139.5 37
       
Total hours by term 160.00 40.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 67
Written assignment including essay 33

Other information on summative assessment:
Summative Assessment Methods (%) - work which always contributes towards the overall module mark:

Formative assessment methods:
Formative Assessment Methods - work which provides opportunities to improve performance (e.g. through feedback provided) but which does not necessarily always contribute towards the overall module mark:

Students write one formative essay, of approximately 1500 words. Feedback will also be provided on the assessed essay of 1800-2000 words, or the equivalent placement report. Feedback on written exams will be available on request from the Director of Teaching and Learning.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the 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.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    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 22 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: 21 December 2016

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