MLM14-Option 2

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 30 [15 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Daniela La Penna


Summary module description:

The Option provides an opportunity for students to advance their knowledge and understanding of a particular aspect of language-specific period-based topics available in the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies (literature, history, politics, culture and society) through an in-depth study of relevant sources and of advanced scholarship in the field.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to:
• locate, analyse and evaluate primary sources relevant to their topic using appropriate critical method
• display a critical understanding of existing scholarly interpretations of their subject
• reveal an ability to deal with complex issues within a broader conceptual framework
• demonstrate initiative and self-direction in their methodology, and an appropriate level of originality in their application of knowledge
• organise and present their material to a high standard in accordance with scholarly protocols.

Additional outcomes:
The module will develop the students’ skills of time management and oral communication and their skills of presentation and advocacy in discussion with their supervisor and with other students. Students will also have developed their IT skills by exploiting various electronic resources and by advanced word processing.

Outline content:
A topic is chosen by the student, with the guidance of the Module Convenor, from subjects offered within the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies, or on a subject tailor-made to fit a student’s own interests, to provide a foundation for an intended doctoral application. Students may replace one Option Module with a 30-credit module offered within another MRes programme, in discussion with the Programme Director. As topics offered are related to staff research, students are exposed to the most up-to-date approaches and gain a knowledge of scholarship in the area chosen. The following are illustrations of the kind of topics that could be made available, depending on the student’s needs and the Department’s resources:

Pathway in French Studies:

Occitan Literature and Culture; Old French Poetry; Medieval Theatre; French Chroniclers; French Renaissance culture; Nineteenth-century literature and culture; Introduction to themes and issues in French children’s literature; Contemporary Mauritian Literature; Marguerite Duras et son siècle; French women’s writing; Gaullism.

Pathway in German Studies:

Mobility and the Metropolis: Berlin in German Literature; Translation studies, 18th – 19th centuries; Translating non-fictional German literature in Britain, 1800-1850; Contemporary Women’s Writing; Literature of the GDR; German war film; Text and Critical Discourse Analysis; Political Discourse Analysis; Gender Discourse Analysis.

Pathway in Spanish and Latin American Studies:

Modes of self and self-writing in Latin America, Icons of Spain and Latin America: From Conquest to Independence: from revolution to globalisation; Introduction to Spanish and Latin American culture, Culture and Revolution in modern Latin America, Modern Contemporary Spanish Narratives, Transatlantic Exchanges: The Iberian Peninsula and Latin America in the C19, Modes of self and self-writing in Latin America; Literary culture in post-59 Cuba; Twentieth and Twenty-first Spanish literature and literary culture (including realism, the fantastic and the uncanny, short story, publishing industry).

Pathway in Italian Studies:

Dante: the Commedia; Dante’s Minor Works; Women in the Renaissance: choices and strategies; Renaissance Theatre and Poetry; Modernising Italian culture: the avant-garde in the early 20th century; Social transformation and political immobility: Italy 1945-2000s; Italian cinema: authorship, interpretation and textual analysis (I and II); The voice and the self in modern Italian poetry; Non-realist forms of fiction in Italian literary culture; Nineteenth- and Twentieth-century historical fictions in Italian; History of Fascism; 20-c Intellectual History: Fields, Agents, and Cultural Institutions; Italian Neo-Realism; Representations of Blackness; History of the Italian Language; Italian Dialectology, Cultures of Fascism, Crisis, Revolt and Migration in Italy 1968-Present.

Film Studies pathway:

Italian Neo-Realism; European Cinema; Adaptation; Italian cinema: authorship, interpretation and textual analysis (I and II); German War Film; French film.

Comparative Literature pathway:

Students may take an option from two different language-specific pathways provided that they have the necessary language proficiency in the select target languages.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Introductory orientation sessions in the Autumn term guide students in their choice of topic to be studied. Students are expected to carry out their own extended searches, and to design their research methodology and the structure of their written work in consultation with their Supervisor. Working bibliographies will be presented for comment. Tutorials offer an opportunity for background and contextual discussion as well as detailed analysis of the subjects chosen for research and written work.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 8 7
Total hours by term 8.00 7.00
Total hours for module 15.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
The 20 contact hours can be taught either in one term (Autumn and Spring only) or spread over the two teaching terms.

This module will be examined by one essay of 5,000 words
Task criteria
1. Evidence of extensive reading and critical interpretation of relevant literature
2. Accurate and logical presentation of material
3. Clear, reasoned, and sustained argument
4. Clarity of organisation and presentation, and appropriate style and referencing

Formative assessment methods:

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:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A grade of at least 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission of the essay by 1 September.

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: 31 March 2017

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