Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Literary Modernisms
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Critical Portfolio  Portfolio of close reading and critical writing 3000 Words  100%
Supplementary Assessment Critical Portfolio  Portfolio of close reading and critical writing 3000 Words  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate an understanding of the distinctive formal and linguistic innovations that characterise modernist texts.

Locate and discuss modernist texts in terms of their historical, social, and cultural contexts.

Examine the ways in which modernist writing engages with issues of class, gender, race, and/or nationality.

Write about challenging literary texts in a critically-focused and well-structured manner.

Brief description

This module introduces students to the radical formal and linguistic experiments of literary modernism, and places those experiments in their historical, social, and cultural contexts. The focus is primarily upon the canonical texts of 'high' modernism - Joyce, H.D., Eliot, and Woolf - though students will also study proto-modernist texts (Conrad) and the innovative work of African-American writers (Hughes, Larsen). Throughout, students will be encouraged to explore the diversity of modernism as a literary-historical phenomenon, and reflect upon the influence that literary modernisms have had upon writing in the late-twentieth and twenty-first centuries.


  • To introduce students to a range of important and innovative modernist texts.
  • To enable students to identify and illustrate some of the key conceptual and aesthetic features of literary modernism.
  • To enhance students’ understanding of the formal and linguistic experimentation that is characteristic of modernist writing.
  • To encourage students to relate modernist texts to their social, historical, and political contexts.
  • To make students aware of the diversity that modernism as a literary and artistic movement comprehends.


Session 1 Introduction
Session 2 Modernism and empire [Conrad]
Session 3 Modernist fiction 1 [Joyce]
Session 4 Modernist fiction 2 [Joyce]
Session 5 Modernist poetry 1 [H.D.]*
Session 6 Modernist poetry 2 [Eliot]*
Session 7 Modernism and war [Woolf]
Session 8 Modernism and the city [Woolf]
Session 9 Modernism in Harlem [Hughes]*
Session 10 Revision and assessment advice

  • These texts will be made available digitally.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Through accurate use of student timetables and relevant time-measuring devices (e.g. watches, alarm clocks).
Communication Written: By developing a sustained critical argument. Oral: Through class discussion, small group exercises, and seminar presentations. [Not assessed]
Improving own Learning and Performance Through independent research and reading.
Information Technology By using word-processing packages; using AberLearn Blackboard and other e-resources to research and access course documents and other materials; by submitting assignments via Turnitin.
Personal Development and Career planning Through increased critical self-reflection and the development of transferable, ICT, communication and research skills.
Problem solving By evaluative analysis and the use of critical skills.
Research skills By directed and independent research; by synthesizing information in an evaluative critical argument.
Subject Specific Skills Through the 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 Through group work in seminars.


This module is at CQFW Level 5