Module Identifier EN33720  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Professor Timothy S Woods  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours Seminar. (10 x 2 hr seminar workshops)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: 2 essays (2,500 words each)100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. 

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, students will be able to:

1. describe and appraise the main theories of and debates within postmodernism;

2. relate theories and practices of postmodernism to set texts;

3. describe the broad effects of postmodern devices on literary and cultural forms;

4. apply examples from the arguments of principal exponents of postmodern theory;

5. comment critically on the material chosen for study;

6. engage in coherent oral discussion of the texts and background material;

7. write about the subject in a well-structured and argued manner.

Brief description

Currently a buzz word, everything appears to be 'postmodern': the clothes you wear, the houses in which we live and the culture with which we engage. This option will focus on the theories and practices of postmodernism.

The module will focus principally on literary examples of postmodernism, but attention will also be paid to other areas of cultural practice, such as film, visual art, and architecture. The seminar pattern will follow a series of thematic interests, which centre upon the characteristic features of postmodern practice, as well as considering some of the theoretical essays of the principal exponents of postmodern theory.



Seminar 1: Theories of Postmodernism

Seminar 2: Erasing Worlds?

Seminar 3: Deconstructing Fiction

Seminar 4: Poetry in the Age of Electronic Reproduction

Seminar 5: Desire, Simulacra, and Spectacles

Seminar 6: Feminism/Postmodernism

Seminar 7: Architecture and Urbanicity

Seminar 8: Magic Realism

Seminar 9: Other Worlds

Seminar 10: Postmodern and Film


There is currently a vast proliferation of texts and studies of postmodernism and its various impacts upon spheres of our society. There is a good selection of the principal texts in the Hugh Owen Library (and this is well supplemented by texts in the National Library). Additional bibliographies concerning individual writers will be compiled and given to students on a weekly basis. The Hugh Owen Library has large holdings on most of the authors represented on this course (including writers not mentioned but nevertheless prominent in postmodern culture).

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
Thomas Docherty Postmodernism: A Reader Harvester
Thomas Pynchon The Crying of Lot 49 Picador
Paul Auster The New York Trilogy Faber and Faber
Angela Carter The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman Penguin
William Gibson Neuromancer Grafton
Salman Rushdie Midnight's Children Picador
Joanna Russ The Female Man The Women's Press


This module is at CQFW Level 6