Module Identifier EN30830  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Luke A Thurston  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Christoph P Lindner, Ms Cristina Bellodi, Mrs Carol M Marshall, Miss Katharine Elisabeth Wright, Dr Matthew R Jarvis, Dr Tiffany S Atkinson, Professor Timothy S Woods, Dr William G Slocombe  
Pre-Requisite EN10320 , EN10420  
Course delivery Lecture   30 Hours  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 Hours Seminar.  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours  75%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 2,500 word essay25%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. 

Learning outcomes

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

1. demonstrate a detailed knowledge of a range of texts drawn from the twentieth century;

2. articulate this knowledge in the form of a reasoned critical analysis of particular texts;

3. locate the texts studied in appropriate literary, historical, and/or cultural contexts;

4. explain and engage with relevant aspects of recent scholarly and/or critical debates about the texts studied.


This module aims:

1. to introduce students to a range of writing in a variety of genres from the period 1900-1999;

2. to locate this writing in the literary, socio-historical and cultural contexts in which it was produced and read;

3. to encourage students to reflect critically on the texts chosen for special study;

4. to encourage students to explore the relations between literary texts and between texts and their contexts;

5. to encourage students to familiarize themselves with recent critical debates about the writing of this periods.

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); James Joyce, The Dubliners; 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.

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
Joseph Conrad (1994) Heart of Darkness Penguin Popular Classics 0140620486
James Joyce (2001) Dubliners OUP
T.S.Eliot (1961) Selected Poems Faber & Faber 0571057063
Virginia Woolf (1996) Mrs Dalloway Penguin Popular Classics 0140622217
W.H.Auden (1979) Selected Poems Faber & Faber 0571113966
John Osborne (2001) Look Back in Anger Faber & Faber 0571038484
Sam Selvon (1979) The Lonely Londoners Longman 0582642647
Angela Carter (1982) The Passion of New Eve Virago Press 0860683419


This module is at CQFW Level 6