ENMESG-Modern English Studies G

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Peter Stoneley

Email: p.stoneley@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module will examine some of the key terms, ideas, and events that have been used to conceptualise English Studies in recent times, beginning with an analysis of ideas and instances of periodisation. Students will take part in a series of plenary sessions with students on other MAs, covering such debates as the Victorian construction of the “Renaissance,” tensions between “Renaissance” and “Early Modern,” and Modernist revisions of the “Victorian.” For the second part of the module, students choose from among the specialised strands, looking at problems that inhere within a particular periodised construction, whether “Early Modern,” “Victorian,” or “Modern” and “Contemporary.” At every point, the module requires students to think about what defines a given period or a given national tradition, and what might be the utility and the liability of such chronological categories.

The aims of this module are: to enable students to critique, with confidence and sophistication, some of the key ideas that are used to organise English Studies, and especially those that relate to chronologised categories; to give students a sense of the disciplinary history of such terms as Early Modern, Victorian, and Modern; to encourage students to formulate analyses which reveal the way in which each instantiation of a period is contingent upon specific national, racial, gendered, social, and formal issues.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to:
i)Identify and discuss a range of discursive contructions of period, with particular focus on Early Modern, Victorian, Modern, and Contemporary.
ii)Recognise and assess the value of such constructions in relation to literary texts.
iii)Conduct and demonstrate independent thought and research in the selection and analysis of literary texts in relation to histories and theories of period.

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

Outline content:
This module will draw on a wide range of literary and critical material. Topics and authors will include: Renaissance vs. Early Modern - Burckhardt, Greenblatt, Rabelais, Foxe; Defences of Poetry - Spenser, Shelley; "Eminent Victorians" - Strachey; Modernism and its Exclusions - Eliot, Woolf, and twentieth-century Caribbean poets. Students will then choose from a series of seminars on Early Modern, Nineteenth-Century, or Modern and Contemporary topics.

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 and topics that have been set and prepared in advance. The seminars will be taught by a number of different members of the department, working as a team to provide a diverse range of materials and approaches. The convenor will consult with seminar-leaders to ensure that the module is clearly structured and coherent. He 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 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
Not applicable.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Students must submit a 4000-word essay on a topic of their own choosing, in which they will respond to and develop upon aspects of the material covered in the seminars. Students taking ENMESG will be required to design a topic that spans at least two of the major organising themes: this may involve writing across or in relation to two periods, or writing in relation to national and post-national paradigms. The specific title will be determined by the student in consultation with the module convenor.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will discuss their essay plans with tutors on a one-to-one basis and their formative assessment will be a presentation of their essays plans at the final workshop/seminar of the term.

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: 20 April 2018


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