EN3AP-American Poetry: Bishop to Dove

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: English Part 1
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Conor Carville

Email: c.carville@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The module focuses on selected major American poets from the mid twentieth-century to poets writing in the present day. The poets range from the confessional poets who gave American poetry the frank and colloquial idioms that exposed the constraints and failures of post-war American culture to contemporary poets of the twenty-first century who seek to mainstream the more marginal voices of American history or to express the individual poetic voice within the shifting parameters of contemporary culture.

This module is designed to provide students with knowledge and critical understanding of selected American poets of the second half of the twentieth-century including those writing into the twenty-first.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable learning outcomes
By the end of the module students will be expected to:
-analyse distinctive features of the poetry selected for study
-discuss some of the interactions between poetry and its social and
intellectual milieux
-engage critically with ideas presented in seminars and secondary materials
-construct and express coherent critical arguments in writing.

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:
Students will study the poetry of Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, Rita Dove, and John Ashbery. Characteristic seminar topics might be an examination of critical reception; an exploration of the literary construction of identity in relation to Confessionalism; consideration of the tensions between the personal and the political, the margins and the centre, in finding an American poetic voice; the impact of region, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality as variables in the poetic mapping of American culture and history; the reworking of traditional mythic and literary forms to encompass the diversity of modern American society.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Three seminar hours weekly, which may take the form of a single 3-hour block or two blocks of 1 and 2 hours respectively, for which students are required to do preparatory reading. Students are also entitled to a half-hour tutorial on their formative written work. 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
Seminars 33 1
Tutorials 0.5
Guided independent study 126.5 39
Total hours by term 160.00 40.00
Total hours for module 200.00

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

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 between 1500 and 2000 words. Feedback will also be provided on the assessed essay of 2250-2500 words, or the equivalent placement report.

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 it it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by 25 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:

    Key Readings List:
    Currently there is no online Key Readings list available for this module, but you may wish to explore the range of Library resources available to you via the online guide for your subject area : http://www.reading.ac.uk/library/finding-info/subjects/lib-subject.aspx

    Last updated: 3 October 2017

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