EN3PL-Packaging Literature

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: English Part 1
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Lucinda Becker

Email: l.m.becker@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module examines the ways in which literature, throughout history and across genres, has been packaged for its readership. The module asks students to consider the commodification of publication, the target market for the works we discuss, the relationship between reader/audience and writer, and the ways in which this relationship might change over time. Students are encouraged to apply the knowledge they gain in the seminars to texts of their own choosing.

This module is designed to heighten awareness of the ‘packaging’ or presentation of texts through the prefatory material that forms part of many published works. It is intended that students will come to recognise various motives in publishing, including commercial gain, self-aggrandisement, moral guidance, political polemic and religious propaganda. Students will also be encouraged to make connections between different texts and various genres. They will have the opportunity to look beyond the set texts to reflect upon their wider reading experience and will be offered the chance, in their formal presentations, to examine several editions of the texts under discussion.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students will be expected to:
•demonstrate an understanding of some of the functions of prefatory writing
•analyse texts in relation to their prefatory material
•understand some of the contexts within which texts were published
•give a formal presentation as a means to express their views
•consider their own reading experience in relation to the module
•engage critically with ideas presented in seminars and in secondary materials
•construct and express detailed critical arguments in written work.

Additional outcomes:
.Oral and written communication skills will be developed, together with critical, interpretative and analytical abilities. Students will be able to use their knowledge from a wide range of earlier modules in relation to the issued raised in this module, and will be encouraged to make connections. Students will also enhance their IT competence through the use of relevant web resources in a critically informed manner.

Outline content:
The module will allow students to range widely across genres from the early modern to the modern period, focussing on the relationship between texts and their prefatory material. Topics for study will include the apologies, dedications, and advertisements that frequently prefaced early modern editions, and what such writing indicates about the nature and readership of the text they precede and its function within a patronage system; the functions of prefatory material affixed to plays or to children’s literature; the re-presentation or ‘re-packaging’ of writing in later editions or in anthologies and the way in which that writing may be reshaped; the changing commercial imperatives of publication, and changing attitudes to gender or to children. Texts for study will allow some freedom of choice to students.

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 30 1
Tutorials 0.5
Guided independent study 129.5 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 give a formal seminar presentation, for which they are given written feedback and a mark. Students may also 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 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

    Things to do now