EN3JJ-James Joyce

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 Mark Nixon

Email: m.nixon@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module provides an opportunity to trace the literary development of one of the most important and influential writers of the twentieth century through an intensive study of a range of texts.


This module is designed to provide students with knowledge and understanding of James Joyce's experimental and influential novel Ulysses, and to give an introduction to what is arguably the most challenging and wonderful book of the Twentieth Century, Finnegans Wake. It aims to promote skills of textual analysis, to explore the theoretical issues raised by the texts and to locate Joyce’s work within broader cultural contexts.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes

By the end of the module students will be expected to:
•employ critical skills of textual analysis to demonstrate an understanding of the
literature they have studied
•relate Joyce’s Ulysses they have studied to literary, political and historical contexts
•organise evidence and articulate a scholarly critical argument in written work
•demonstrate an awareness of the intellectual milieu in which Joyce’s texts were
•show knowledge of the way Joyce ‘revolutionizes’ language in Finnegans Wake

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:
This course explores the works of James Joyce, renowned for their experimentation with language and literary form. The module will focus on the controversial and highly influential masterpiece Ulysses (1922), although other texts will also feature. At the same time, the module will tackle parts of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, one of the most challenging and enigmatic pieces of literary fiction ever written. Joyce’s work will be examined through close textual analysis and within literary, political and historical contexts, covering issues such as Joyce’s relation to European literature; the nature and limits of formal experimentation; the politics of Modernism and the figure of the artist; nationalism, religion and Ireland. Furthermore, the module will examine Joyce’s compositional processes and the intricate history of his work’s publication.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Three seminar hours weekly, 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 if 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:
    You can view a Key Readings list for this module here: http://readinglists.reading.ac.uk/lists/F1FE5D80-B985-ACF7-5B17-CB53EF61464D
    N.B. Reading lists may change before the module starts.

    Last updated: 4 April 2017

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