ENMMT-Materiality and Textuality

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 30 [15 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Mark Nixon

Email: m.nixon@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module offers training in traditional research methods. It aids students with the practicalities of literary research, including guidance on: using and constructing bibliographies; locating and using manuscripts; editorial practices; the nature of copyright. It also introduces students to the wider scholarly and intellectual debates over editing, copyright, and the archive.

The aim is to equip the student, in practical and intellectual terms, to embark upon independent literary research. The module will raise awareness of the modes of literary production and consumption, and of how these may be traced and analysed in relation to specific resources. It will also trace the impact of shifting modes of production and consumption on literary practice from the Early Modern into the Modern period.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to: i)Conduct and describe formal bibliographical research of primary texts; identify and discuss the construction, definition, and presentation of the literary text, and the issues that arise from such processes (‘textuality’). ii)Identify and discuss changes in the material conditions of the production and consumption of literature as we move from the Early Modern into the Modern period (‘materiality’). iii)Formulate critical questions and interpret texts critically with reference to materiality and textuality. iv)Conduct and demonstrate independent thought and research in the selection and critical analysis of texts.

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 those of others, including their peers and seminar leaders. Students will also enhance their IT skills through working with electronic media.

Outline content:
Changes in the theory and practice of literary production will be explored though a diverse range of material, drawn from the period from the Early Modern to the Modern period. Seminars will be dedicated to introducing students to bibliographic research and description; analysis and evaluation of editorial practices with reference to specific authors and texts; discussion of traditional and emergent publishing practices, in relation to different genres. Alongside instruction in the skills of describing and analysing diverse literary practices, the module will offer critical examples of shifts in the technologies and ideologies of the literary marketplace from the Early Modern period to the present day. Specific topics and texts will be determined, in part, by the nature of the Special Collections at the University of Reading, and in part by the current research projects of the staff involved.

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 set and prepared in advance. Some seminars will be taught in Special Collections, using material from the archives and rare book collections. 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 other 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: 277
Total hours by term 20
Total hours for module 300

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
Not applicable.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Assessment on this module consists of one practical assignment, chosen in consultation with the module convenor. This piece of work shall present either a manuscript study, a publishing/textual history of a literary work or the creation of an edition. A non-assessed bibliographical exercise will be set beforehand, and can be integrated into the assessed coursework study. Students will have the opportunity to select their task according to their own particular interests.

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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