Module Identifier EN10520  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Jonathan Shears  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Mrs Kirsten Allen Bartels, Katharine E Wright, Mr Michael J Smith, Dr William G Slocombe, Miss Megan Owen, Mrs Nicky Cashman, Dr Natasha Alden  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   10 Hours. (10 x 1 hour seminars)  
  Lecture   20 Hours. (20 x 1 hour lectures: two per week for 10 weeks)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours (Answer two questions on a two hour examination paper)  50%
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: 2 essays (1,500-2,000 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment2 Hours Resubmit or resit failed elements and/or make good any missing elements.100%

Learning outcomes

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

1. read literary texts in an informed and critical way;

2. discuss literary texts coherently;

3. write about literary texts in a well-structured and well-argued manner.


This module aims:

1. to introduce students to key aspects of contemporary writing in English through a wide range of forms, style, and linguistic registers in poetry, short fiction, drama, and film;

2. to introduce students to a range of current issues and debates in English Studies and contemporary writing;

3. to increase the reading range of students and encourage them to become reflective and responsive readers.

Brief description

This module introduces a range of contemporary writing in English covering a wide variety of forms, styles, and linguistic registers: tales, short-fiction, poetry, drama, film-adaptations, elements of pulp fiction, modernist and post-modernist fiction. The set texts raise a number of critical issues concerning literary form and language, cultural positioning and social identity. They are arranged under four thematic headings: 'Class', 'Negotiating Identities', 'Sexualities' and 'Cultures in Contact'. This approach will enable students to engage with the sort of theoretical work they will encounter at a higher level in Part Two.


There will be two lectures each week. Each topic will be introduced in a general lecture, and each of the set texts will be examined in two lectures, one specifically on the text, the other on a wider range of issues raised by the text.

In the seminars, students can present and investigate their own ideas on the meaning and worth of the set texts. What has the text communicated to you personally, and how does your opinion relate to those of other students and critics?

Set Texts


Negotiating Identities:


Cultures in Contact:

(Subject to release of videos, we shall also consider the new film adaptations of both of these latter titles.)

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
A.S. Byatt (1998) Elementals Vintage
Alex Garland (1996) The Beach Penguin
Charlotte Williams (2002) Sugar and Slate Planet
Jeanette Winterson (1996) The Passion Vintage
Kay, Jackie (1999) Trumpet Picador 9780330331463
Noon, Jeff (2001) Vurt Pan Macmillan 0330338811
Tony Harrison (1995) Selected Poems Penguin
Zadie Smith (2001) White Teeth Penguin


This module is at CQFW Level 4