Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Contemporary Writing
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 10 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: 2000 word essay  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (Answer two questions on a two hour examination paper)  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   RE-SIT EXAM  (Answer two questions on a two hour examination paper)  Resit examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On the completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an informed critical understanding of selected examples of contemporary writing.

2. Relate these texts to contemporary cultural concerns.

3. Write about contemporary literary texts in a structured and disciplined manner.

Brief description

This module introduces students to an excitingly diverse selection of contemporary writing in English, and world literature in translation. It covers a variety of forms, styles, and linguistic registers, but concentrates chiefly on the genres of poetry, the novel, and the short story. The module adopts a wide-angled perspective on the phenomenon of ‘contemporary writing’, selecting set texts from the literary cultures of Wales, Britain, North America, and the wider world. Students will be encouraged to explore the relationships between texts and their particular historical moment, and to interrogate the very idea of ‘contemporaneity’. Other topics of discussion might include: literature and terror; place and identity; nature and culture; gender and sexuality; race and class; faith and faithlessness; formal experiments; the legacies of modernism. In this way, the module will enable students to engage with a variety of topics and concepts that they will encounter at a higher level in Part Two.


Lectures 1-5; Seminars 1-3:
Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Lectures 6-10; Seminars 4-5:
Owen Sheers, Resistance
Christopher Meredith, The Book of Idiots

Lectures 11-15; Seminars 6-8:
Alice Oswald, Dart
Michael Symmons Roberts, Drysalter

Lectures 16-20; Seminars 9-10:
Anne Enright, The Gathering
Ali Smith, There But for the


To introduce students to a range of contemporary writing from Wales, Britain, North America and the wider world; to make students aware of the formal variety of contemporary writing; to encourage students to understand contemporary writing in relation to its social, historical, and political contexts.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Written - developing a sustained critical argument Oral - group discussions adn seminar presentations
Improving own Learning and Performance Independent research and reading
Information Technology Use of word-processing packages, use of Blackboard and other e-resources to research and access course documents and other materials
Personal Development and Career planning Increased critical self-reflection and the development of transferable, ICT, communication and research skills
Problem solving Evaluative analysis and critical skills
Research skills Independent research ad synthesizing information in an evaluative argument
Subject Specific Skills Reading, writing and researching skills involved in the interrogation of literary texts, and the conceptual/theoretical analysis of works of imaginative literature in relation to a range of other non- literary texts
Team work Group work in seminars and/or through the preparation of paired presentations for seminars


This module is at CQFW Level 4