Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Literary Modernisms
Academic Year
Semester 1
External Examiners
  • Ms Kirsti Bohata (Senior Lecturer - Swansea University)
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 Exam 2 Hours   Exam Paper  50%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2500 word essay submission  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of 2500 word essay  Students who fail the module will be required to make good any missing assessment elements and/or resubmit any failed coursework assignments (writing on a fresh topic), and/or sit the supplementary examination paper. tudents who fail the module will be required to make good any missing assessment elements and/or resubmit any failed coursework assignments (writing on a fresh topic), and/or sit the supplementary examination paper.   Resubmit failed or missing essay  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Resit Exam  Resit failed or missed exam paper  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

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

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

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

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


  • 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.

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, Eliot, and Woolf - though students will also study proto-modernist (Conrad) and late modernist (Auden) texts. The work of other more minor or marginal figures - such as H.D., David Jones, Ford Madox Ford, and Dorothy Richardson - will be touched upon in five thematic lectures that describe the wider contexts within which the five core texts can be located. 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.


Week 1
Lecture 1: Introduction
Lecture 2: The contexts of modernism
Seminar: Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Week 2
Lecture 3: Conrad, Heart of Darkness 1
Lecture 4: Conrad, Heart of Darkness 2
Seminar: Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Week 3
Lecture 5: Modernist fiction
Lecture 6: Joyce, A Portrait 1
Seminar: Joyce, A Portrait

Week 4
Lecture 7: Joyce, A Portrait 2
Lecture 8: Joyce, A Portrait 3
Seminar: Joyce, A Portrait

Week 5
Lecture 9: Modernist poetry
Lecture 10: Eliot, Selected Poems 1
Seminar: Eliot, Selected Poems

Week 6
Lecture 11: Eliot, Selected Poems 2
Lecture 12: Eliot, Selected Poems 3
Seminar: Eliot, Selected Poems

Week 7
Lecture 13: Modernism and war
Lecture 14: Woolf, Mrs Dalloway 1
Seminar: Woolf, Mrs Dalloway

Week 8
Lecture 15: Woolf, Mrs Dalloway 2
Lecture 16: Woolf, Mrs Dalloway 3
Seminar: Woolf, Mrs Dalloway

Week 9
Lecture 17: Late modernism
Lecture 18: Auden, Selected Poems 1
Seminar: Auden, Selected Poems

Week 10
Lecture 19: Auden, Selected Poems 2
Lecture 20: Assessment advice
Seminar: Auden, Selected Poems

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
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; and through preparation for paired presentations in seminars.


This module is at CQFW Level 5