Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials Seminar. 2 hours per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 5,000 word essay  Essay: 
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. Where this involves re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected. 

Learning Outcomes

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

1. demonstrate a knowledge of the issues associated with postmodernism in relation to contemporary British literature;

2. demonstrate an ability to employ this specialist knowledge in an extended critical and analytical essay;

3. demonstrate an ability to perform comparative critical analysis at an advanced level of research.

Brief description

This option will focus on postmodern experiments within the genre of the English-language novel in both contemporary British and American writing, and specifically at the way in which history is reconfigured, rewritten, and reshaped, as it increasingly becomes the critical site of the formation of cultural identity. The range of novels will embrace formal experimentation, challenges to the modes of representation traditionally associated with the novel, and a concern with the gender and racial implications of postmodernism in the novel.



Seminar 1: Fiction and Postmodernity
Extracts from Linda Hutcheon, The Politics of Postmodernism; Mark Currie, Metafiction; Patricia Waugh, Metafiction

Seminar 2: The Construction of Postmodern Spaces
Angela Carter, The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (1972)
Steve Erickson, Amnesiascope (1996)

Seminar 3: Postmodernist Histories
Graham Swift, Waterland (1983)
Julian Barnes, The History of the World in Ten and a Half Chapters (1989)

Seminar 4: Rewriting Fictions
Christine Brooke-Rose, Amalgamemnon (1984)
Paul Auster, Travels in the Scriptorium (2006)

Seminar 5: Race, Religion, and Postmodernism
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses (1988)

Reading List

Should Be Purchased
Auster, Paul (2006) Travels in the Scriptorium Faber Primo search Barnes, Julian (1990) A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters Picador Primo search Brooke-Rose, Christine (1984) Amalgamemnon Carcanet Primo search Carter, Angela (1982) The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman Penguin Primo search Erickson, Steve (1996) Amnesiascope Quartet Primo search Rushdie, Salman (1988) The Satanic Verses Viking Primo search Swift, Graham (1992) Waterland Picador Primo search
Recommended Text
Currie, Mark, ed. (1995) Metafiction Longman Primo search Hutcheon, Linda (1989) The Politics of Postmodernism Routledge Primo search Waugh, Patricia (1988) Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction Routledge Primo search
Supplementary Text
Barthelme, Donald (1968) Snow White Bantam Books Primo search Carter, Angela (1981) The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories Penguin Primo search Danielewski, Mark Z. (2000) House of Leaves Anchor Primo search Fowles, John (1987) The French Lieutenant's Woman Pan Primo search Morrison, Toni (1992) Jazz Chatto & Windus Primo search
Recommended Background
Christensen, Inger (1981) The Meaning of Metafiction: A Critical Study of Selected Novels by Sterne, Nabokov, Barth and Beckett Universitets forlaget Primo search Hutcheon, Linda (1984) Narcissistic Narrative: The Metafictional Paradox Methuen Primo search Scholes, Robert (1979) Fabulation and Metafiction University of Illinois Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7