Module Identifier EN30830  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Peter Barry  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Mr Clive Meachen, Mrs Carol Marshall, Dr Helena Grice, Mr Matthew Jarvis, Mr Michael Smith, Dr Sean Matthews, Dr Tiffany Atkinson  
Pre-Requisite EN10320 , EN10420  
Course delivery Lecture   30 Hours  
  Seminar   10 Hours  
Assessment Essay   1 x 2,500 word essay   25%  
  Exam   3 Hours   75%  
  Resit assessment   Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements.    

Brief description

This module does not attempt to survey twentieth-century British literature, but it does attempt to engage with the range and variety of writing in this period. By focusing on key texts in a range of genres, it seeks to give a sense of the shifts in the balance of power between the poles of realism and experimentation as the period goes on, from 'high' modernism (up to the 1920s), to 'revised' or rejected modernism (1930s-1950s), and towards postmodernism in the period through to the 1990s.

Texts and Topics

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1899-1900); D.H.Lawrence, 'The Prussian Officer' and Other Tales (1915); T.S.Eliot, Selected Poems (1917-1927)   

Beyond Modernism:
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (1927); W.H.Auden, Selected Poems (1930s-1950s); John Osborne, Look Back in Anger (1956)
Towards Postmodernism:
Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (1956); Jackie Kay, The Adoption Papers (1991); Angela Carter, The Passion of New Eve (1977)   

Lectures and seminars

Lectures (three per week): There will be an introductory and concluding lecture for each strand, and 'Text' and 'Context' lectures on each of the key texts. Weekly seminars: There is one seminar on each of the key texts.


1. One x 2, 500 word essay during the module (see Departmental essay deadline information)
A list of essay topics relating to the first half of the module will be circulated at the beginning of the semester. The essay will contribute 25% of the module mark.
2. A three-hour unseen examination at the end of the module. Students are required to answer two questions, choosing one from each section of the paper.
The coursework essay and the two essays in the examination must each be on a different module theme, so that all three are covered. The examination will contribution 75% of the module mark.

Key Texts

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness ; D.H.Lawrence, The Prussian Officer and Other Tales; T.S.Eliot, Selected Poems; Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway; W.H.Auden, Selected Poems; John Osborne, Look Back in Anger; Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners; Jackie Kay, The Adoption Papers; Angela Carter, The Passion of New Eve.

Aims and objectives

to introduce students to a range of writing in a variety of genres from the period 1900-1999;
to locate this writing in the literary, socio-historical and cultural contexts in which it was produced and read;
to encourage students to reflect critically on the texts chosen for special study;
to encourage students to explore the relations between literary texts and between texts and their contexts;
to encourage students to familiarize themselves with recent critical debates about the writing of this periods.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should typically be able to:
demonstrate a detailed knowledge of a range of texts drawn from the twentieth century;
articulate this knowledge in the form of a reasoned critical analysis of particular texts;
locate the texts studied in appropriate literary, historical, and/or cultural contexts;
explain and engage with relevant aspects of recent scholarly and/or critical debates about the texts studied.