ML2GF-Science, perversion, and dream in global fantastic literature

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

Module Convenor: Dr Daniela La Penna


Summary module description:
This module will explore a number of key literary texts that engage the Fantastic mode of literary representation. The module aims to promote critical awareness of the ways in which French, Hispanic, Italian and German literary traditions adapted and transformed the Fantastic narrative so that it spoke to a number of specific issues such as the advances in science and technology, the changing roles of women, the pressures of modernisation, the impact of psychoanalysis, and fears related to changes brought about by colonisation, the political structure of the Nation-state, and the economy. Texts will be read in the original language if the student is taking that language to degree level, and in English translation if not.

This module is designed to provide knowledge and understanding of a wide range of literary texts that can be ascribed to the Fantastic mode. A series of lectures will be devoted to enhance the students’ understanding of the themes available in Fantastic literature. Particular attention will be devoted to the aesthetics of the Fantastic and therefore students will develop an understanding of Gothic, the grotesque, the supernatural, and the uncanny, and how these categories are used in the select key texts.

Assessable learning outcomes:
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the cultural debates that are reflected in the selected texts
- Show an ability to use these debates to inform close critical analysis of the selected texts
- Develop an understanding of the comparative dimension of the literary phenomena analysed in class
- Understand the implications of different literary forms for reading
- Engage critically with ideas presented in seminars and secondary materials
- Research, organise and articulate a scholarly critical argument in writing

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:
After two introductory lectures where the historical context and the critical and theoretical background will be discussed, students will read a number of short stories and short novels that are chosen for their exemplarity and relevance to the tradition of the Fantastic narrative. Texts will be read in the original language if the student is taking that language to degree level, and in English translation if not.
The texts will be normally chosen from, but are not limited to, this list:
Italian stream: Camillo Boito, 'Un Corpo' ('A Body'); Iginio Ugo Tarchetti, 'Fosca' ('Fosca'); 'Bouvard'
French stream: Either: Honoré de Balzac, 'La peau de chagrin' ('The Magic Skin'); Guy de Maupassant, 'Le Horla' ('The Horl'a); or: Jules Verne, 'Voyage au centre de la terre' ('Journey to the Centre of the Earth'); or Auguste de Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, 'L’Ève Future' ('Tomorrow’s Eve');
Spanish and Latin American stream: Jorge Luis Borges, 'El Aleph’ ('The Aleph’); Javier Marías, ‘No más amores’ ('No more love’) and ‘Gualta’ (‘Gualta’);
German stream: E. T. A. Hoffman, 'Der Sandmann' ('The Sandman'); Sigmund Freud, 'Das Unheimliche' ('The Uncanny').

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This is a team-taught module and it will be delivered through a series of lectures and seminars. Students are required to do preparatory reading.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10
Seminars 5 5
Guided independent study 85 85
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will be required to submit two written assignments, one of which must be an essay (2000-2500 words in length). The other assignment can be either a commentary of a set passage, or a commented translation into English of a set passage, or an essay. Depending on their degree programme, students will be required to cite the set texts in the original language in their assignments.

Formative assessment methods:
Class discussions and non-assessed presentations.

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:
    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:
    Resubmission of coursework. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by the set date.

    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

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