ENMCP-Contemporary poetry in English

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Peter Robinson

Email: P.Robinson@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
The contemporary is in flux. Our approach will thus emphasize the processes of reputation creation, the collaborations between poets, editors, critics, and readers, and how cultural forgetting, reputation decline, and revival occur. We will be particularly interested in, and attentive to, case studies of poets’ socio-cultural locations, relations with publishers, aesthetic and political allegiances, the poetry wars, and the nature of foregrounding and exclusion. There will be opportunities for the study of manuscripts and published variants, so that the pressures upon occasions of revision will be examined. Because of the topic’s protean nature, students who would like to enrol should come to the module with already forming tastes and interests that they wish to explore at this higher level of study.

-to provide students with detailed knowledge and understanding of a range of contemporary poetry in English, giving them a sense key issues and how to conduct individual research in the area

-to provide students with detailed knowledge and understanding of a number of different critical and conceptual methods related to contemporary poetry and the conflicts with which it is beset

-to encourage students to analyse and question their own and others’ assumptions and critical approaches

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students will be expected to:
-employ skills of textual analysis to demonstrate understanding of the materials they have studied
-identify and engage critically with a number of different approaches relating to contemporary poetry in English
-consider and evaluate some of the ways in which their selected primary texts express and respond to contemporary social, cultural and historical conditions
-construct and articulate coherent critical arguments in writing

Additional outcomes:
The module will encourage students to: develop their oral communication skills through discussions in seminars; think critically both within and across disciplines; to question their own assumptions and arguments, and those of others, including their peers and seminar-leaders

Outline content:
For our purposes Contemporary will mean ‘alive and actively publishing during the years since 1945’, while in English will allow study of poetry from the British Isles either written in English, or in translation from the other languages spoken here, Anglophone American poetry of the period, poetry from Commonwealth countries, and indeed the work of any poet significantly active in the language. The exact contents of the module will be settled in discussion with the students enrolled so as to take account of their particular interests in this large and open field. The module’s materials will thus vary from year to year.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module consists of eleven weekly seminars, each two hours in length. Each seminar will involve discussion of texts or special materials that have been chosen and prepared in advance. The module teacher will also be available for consultation with students on a one-to-one basis to discuss their work and the progress of the module as a whole.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 22
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study: 177
Total hours by term 18
Total hours for module

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
Not applicable.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Aside from the set readings and questions for discussion, students must submit a 4000-word essay on a topic of their choice, in which they will respond to and develop upon an aspect of the material covered in the seminars. Each student will decide the specific title in consultation with the module convenor.

Formative assessment methods:
Presentations with feedback.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-submission of coursework.

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: 29 October 2019


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