ENMCHP-Popular Forms of Children's Fiction

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Neil Cocks

Email: n.h.cocks@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module aims to examine texts that may, in a variety of ways, be seen as 'popular'. This will include books published in series (Goosebumps, Babysitters); books marketed by genre (Point Horror); comics, magazines and media. Through these texts, important questions of critical approach will be raised. These will include questions of value and hierarchy, the construction of 'authors' and authority, notions of originality and repetition, ideas of the 'contemporary'. Above all, the very idea of the 'popular' will be carefully considered. How does it function in existing critical languages? Is it thought of a part of, or as apart from, children's literature? Where would one place Enid Blyton or Roald Dahl? Disputed cases such as these will help to mark out the frontiers of debate. This suggested outline may be modified to take into account specific interests of the students.

Aims:
This module aims to examine texts that may, in a variety of ways, be seen as 'popular'. This will include books published in series (Goosebumps, Babysitters); books marketed by genre (Point Horror); comics, magazines and media. Through these texts, important questions of critical approach will be raised. These will include questions of value and hierarchy, the construction of 'authors' and authority, notions of originality and repetition, ideas of the 'contemporary'. Above all, the very idea of the 'popular' will be carefully considered. How does it function in existing critical languages? Is it thought of a part of, or as apart from, children's literature? Where would one place Enid Blyton or Roald Dahl? Disputed cases such as these will help to mark out the frontiers of debate. This suggested outline may be modified to take into account specific interests of the students.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students must produce a 2500-3000 word essay considering a selection of texts, television programmes, or films, in relation to ideas of the 'popular'. The essay must demonstrate an awareness of relevant theoretical issues and questions, and of how these issues might be included and formulated in the writing of the essay. The essay must therefore demonstrate too the student's ability to reflect on their own critical practices and assumptions, and their ability to revise and adjust their thinking and writing in the light of this reflection.

Additional outcomes:
In addition to the above, students will:
1)be able to formulate questions and recognise relevant problems and complexities.
2)be able to examine and question their own assumptions, arguments and choices of critical languages.
3)be able to analyse arguments made by others in terms of their assumptions and claims, including those of their tutor.
4)be able to read any text - fictional, critical, or non-fictional - closely and be able to analyse its precise use of language.
5)be able to think out loud and engage in peer-group discussion and debate.
6)be able to question notions of authority and think in an independent manner relevant to their own development.

Outline content:
This will include books published in series (Goosebumps, Babysitters); books marketed by genre (Point Horror); comics, magazines and media.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module consists of eleven once-weekly classes of one hour's duration. Classes consist of seminars, which students introduce through pre-prepared presentations on a chosen text.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 11
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study: 88
       
Total hours by term 10
       
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
Not applicable.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
One 2500-3000 word piece of written work (submission date is subject to staff-student committee confirmation every year).

Formative assessment methods:
Formative assessment consists of feedback on seminar participation and extensive feedback on all written work

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:
50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
If the student submits an unsatisfactory coursework essay or assignment, the student will be allowed to re-submit the piece once more after tutorial consultation.
If the student is required to be re-examined on the coursework essays, they may be permitted one calendar month's extension for the subsequent submission of the dissertation.

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: 10 April 2019

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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