Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Literature since the '60s
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  Critical Essay 3000 Words  100%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  Critical Essay 3000 Words  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demostrate an understanding of the distinctive thematic concerns and formal innovations that characterise late-twentieth-century texts.

Locate and discuss late-twentieth-century texts in terms of their historical, social, and cultural contexts.

Display awareness of some of the key features of postmodernism as manifested in literary texts.

Examine the ways in which late-twentieth century literature engages with issues of class, gender, race, and/or nationality.

Write about literary texts from a range of genres in a critically-focused and well-structured manner.

Brief description

This module introduces students to the distinctive features of British literature from 1960 to the end of the twentieth century through detailed engagements with a range of prose and poetry. The focus is upon writers and texts from Britain and Ireland, though the concerns of several of these texts with cultural hybridity and post-colonial identities will form the basis of discussion. Thematic lectures on ‘Post-war poetry’, and ‘Postmodern fictions’ will offer historical, literary-historical, social, and political contextualisation, as well as explaining key critical terms and concepts. At the core of the module, however, are detailed engagements with a small number of carefully-chosen texts, which will be interpreted from a variety of critical and theoretical perspectives. Students will be encouraged to relate post-1960s literary texts to a wider ‘postmodern condition’ from which they arise; to think critically about the ways in which issues of class, gender, or racial difference inform late-twentieth-century texts; and to explore the formal or generic features that are distinctive of literature in this period.


  • To introduce students to a range of literary texts from the 1960s onwards, and in a variety of genres.
  • To enable students to locate and discuss post-1960s literary texts in their historical, social, and political contexts.
  • To encourage students to explore the distinctive formal or generic features of post-1960s literature.
  • To enhance students' understanding of issues of class, gender, race, and sexuality as they inform late twentieth-century literature.


Syllabus outline

Lecture 1: Post-war poetry
Lecture 2: Heaney 1
Seminar 1: Heaney, New Selected Poems

Lecture 3: Heaney 2
Lecture 4: Heaney 3
Seminar 2: Heaney, New Selected Poems

Lecture 5: Clarke 1
Lecture 6: Clarke 2
Seminar 3: Clarke, Collected Poems

Lecture 7: Clarke 3
Lecture 8: Clarke 4
Seminar 4: Clarke, Collected Poems

Lecture 9: Postmodern fictions
Lecture 10: Swift 1
Seminar 5: Swift, Waterland

Lecture 11: Swift 2
Lecture 12 Swift 3
Seminar 6: Swift, Waterland

Lecture 13: Winterson 1
Lecture 14: Winterson 2
Seminar 7: Winterson, Sexing the Cherry

Lecture 15: Winterson 3
Lecture 16: Winterson 4
Seminar 8: Winterson, Sexing the Cherry

Lecture 17: Kay 1
Lecture 18: Kay 2
Seminar 9: Kay, Trumpet

Lecture 19: Kay 3
Lecture 20: Assessment advice
Seminar 10: Kay, Trumpet

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
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